Auditors flag woes at Blumont, Charisma Energy

They say firms may have issues continuing as going concerns

Blumont Group and Charisma Energy Services may have problems continuing as going concerns, according to their auditors.

The disclosures come from the annual reports that are being sent to shareholders.

Auditors at Blumont, one of the firms caught up in the 2013 penny stock crash, noted a net loss, negative cash flows and net current liabilities for the year to Dec 31, 2017.

The group incurred a net loss after tax of $2.6 million, recorded negative cash flows from operating activities of $2.1 million, and net current liabilities of $5.2 million.

However, Blumont's board has said the steps proposed by management to turn around the firm are achievable and that the group will be able to raise sufficient funds to finance operations for the next 12 months.

These measures include continuing financial support from Blumont's holding company, Ultimate Horizon, with Ultimate not demanding repayment of the loans due within 12 months from the reporting year-end date.

Blumont also intends to settle a legal suit in Malaysia over the sale of a condominium unit at Suasana Sentral. It expects to collect the balance payment of the sales proceeds of about $1 million.

It said it will evaluate various strategies, such as obtaining alternative sources of funds and the sale of other assets, to improve profitability and generate cash flow.

Catalist-listed Charisma said late on Tuesday that auditors KPMG drew attention to three matters of material uncertainty in the results for the year ended Dec 31, 2017.

Charisma Energy incurred a full-year net loss of US$31.36 million (S$41 million) and current liabilities exceeded current assets by US$34.81 million as of Dec 31.

The firm has defaulted on its loan obligations. Consequently, senior bank lenders and a shareholder can call for repayment of about US$44.52 million of secured bank loans and a shareholder loan of US$850,000.

KPMG auditors noted that no letter of statutory demand for repayment has been made.

Charisma Energy has indicated plans to divest certain assets to bring in additional funding.

It added that its renewable energy business is expected to generate positive cash flows.

Charisma Energy entered into a deal on March 29 to buy out two companies that hold power purchase agreements to operate 12 mini-hydropower plants.

It will pay US$1.875 million by issuing new shares.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2018, with the headline 'Auditors flag woes at Blumont, Charisma Energy'. Print Edition | Subscribe