Alarm sounds over Quintessentially's future as auditor raises second "going concern" warning - report
Concerns over the future of Quintessentially grow as auditors of the luxury members-only concierge service fear talks of a takeover are getting nowhere.
The service offers members access to exclusive luxury services and products with the tagline "anything, anytime, anywhere". But accountancy firm BDO has now issued its second "going concern" warning in two years for the company, whose clients include celebrities and chief executives, the Telegraph newspaper reported.
Owners of the service, including its co-founded and former Conservative party chairman Ben Elliot, began trying to sell the 20-year-old business as far back as January when it said it received an unsolicited takeover offer.
However, auditors said Quintessentially now faced a "risk that the pace and level at which events and travel business returns could be materially less than forecast" as the possibility of a recession grows.
A slow recovery could require Quintessentially to raise external funding “which may not be forthcoming", BDO said. This creates "material uncertainty” and “may cast significant doubt on the group and company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.
Those concerns also grew after Quintessentially's latest financial accounts for the 12-months ended April 30 were filed very late. They showed 2020 turnover dropping from £50.4 million in 2019 to £44.7 million in 2020, though losses narrowed from £4.4 million to £3 million.
Quintessentially said the delay in filing was due to a major restructuring, a process which also heavily delayed its 2019 results. It said the restructuring helped it trade profitably in its latest financial year “with revenues having moved markedly back towards pre-pandemic levels”.
The company also said it achieved “record memberships” in the 12 months to this April, without providing figures.
Responding to concerns over its future liquidity, Quintessentially told the newspaper the “directors consider that should the need arise, they could obtain the necessary [support] and hence have prepared the financial statements on a going concern basis”.
Directors said the company was “in a much stronger position now” and “should be able to trade profitably on a consistent basis”.
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