Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has appointed RSM UK as its auditors with immediate effect.
The appointment follows a lengthy process to find new auditors after Grant Thornton resigned at the retail groups’ AGM in September. Grant Thornton had audited the company’s accounts since 2007. Its resignation came after the release of Sports Direct’s annual results that were delayed due to a €674m (£624m) Belgian tax claim.
The Sports Direct group suffered a 6% fall in underlying EBITDA to £287.8m in the 52 weeks to 28 April 2019, compared with £306.1m in the same period the previous year. Revenue at the group, which also controls French Connection and Flannels, was up 10% to £3.7bn in the same period.
Sports Direct struggled to attract interest from the “Big Four” auditors – PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY. RSM UK is the seventh-largest business advisory firm in the United Kingdom and the sixth largest, globally.
Last week, Sports Direct called for an investigation into the dominance of certain ”must-have’” brands – namely Nike and Adidas – in the sportswear market.
Earlier this week, the retail group acquired Brookfield Shopping Park in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire for £25.4m.