Auditor questions Marlon Abela's restaurant accounts

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Auditor questions Marlon Abela's restaurant accounts
The restaurant empire owned by tycoon Marlon Abela has come under fresh scrutiny after auditors raised a red flag over its accounts.

In recent filings for Marc Ltd, the parent company of Mayfair’s The Square, the Greenhouse, Umu and Morton’s Club, auditors from Haysmacintyre LLP state they were “unable to reconcile bank statements with cash”.

The accountancy firm says it could not “verify any of the transactions throughout the year” for several subsidiaries and there was not “sufficient” evidence for it to give an opinion on the results.

In a statement to The Times​ Marc Ltd blamed the “failure” of banks to provide auditors with the required information “in the time frame needed”.

Filings for the year to 31 December 2017 reveal Marc Ltd made a loss of £5.8m, down from a £9.1m loss in 2016, while turnover dipped slightly to £12m.

No dividends were distributed in either 2016 or 2017.

Writing in the accounts, the directors state Marc Ltd relies on “continued financial support” from parent company Malorey Assets Ltd and Abela. “Mr Abela has also confirmed that he will continue to provide financing in order that the group can continue to meet its liabilities as and when they fall due."

The directors say the group will “continue to pursue opportunities to grow revenues, both from existing locations and from new locations, and to improve profitability”.

Last year Abela had to provide a substantial cash injection to save Marc Ltd from liquidation.

In January 2018 the Financial Times​ reported allegations of ‘late payments, tax difficulties and legal disputes’ at wine merchant OW Loeb, which Abela bought in 2014. A spokesperson at the time disputed the claims and said Marc Ltd was taking a “long term” approach to the business.

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