BERLIN • German payments company Wirecard has hired KPMG to conduct an independent audit to address allegations by the Financial Times (FT) that Wirecard's finance team had sought to inflate reported sales and profits, it said yesterday.
The company, which was promoted to the DAX blue-chip index last year, has been the target of a series of investigative reports by FT reporter Dan McCrum, with the latest report last Tuesday knocking more than 20 per cent off Wirecard's share price.
FT's reporting has, however, led to calls from investors and corporate governance advocates for Wirecard to hire an outside auditor, both to clear up the matter and to demonstrate that it meets the governance standards of a top-tier public company.
"We have complete confidence in the audit procedures performed to date and their results. We assume this renewed independent review will lead to a final end to all further speculation," Mr Wulf Matthias, chairman of Wirecard's supervisory board, said in a statement.
Wirecard shares rose by 3.5 per cent in pre-market trading in Frankfurt.
The audit will begin immediately, Wirecard said, adding that KPMG will report to the company's supervisory board and have unrestricted access to information at all levels of the group.
Wirecard has long been a target of short sellers.