On Tuesday morning high street giant next confessed that it engaged in a “procedural oversight” in dividend payments which has led to a “technical infringement” of the Companies Act.
The issue concerns the payment of special interim dividends from 3 February 2014, 2 February 2015 and 2 November 2015, as well as an ordinary interim dividend waged on 2 January 2015.
“While the company always had sufficient reserves to pay the relevant distributions at the time that they were made, the Act required this to be demonstrated by reference to interim accounts filed at Companies House prior to payment” said the fashion chain.
“Regrettably, those interim accounts were not filed with Companies House until after the relevant distributions had been paid and after the lapse had been identified.”
Shareholders are being informed of the issue and will have the opportunity to attend a general meeting to solve the matter although they will be relieved that there’s no expectation to restate past accounts or repay any dividends.
The mishap won’t affect the British retailer’s total financial results or its position in stock market. Further penalties will not be issued.
“The issue is of an historic nature and there is no change to the financial outlook of the company as a consequence of this technical matter” the company added.