Lamprell hit by £2.4m fine for listing violation

RIG maker Lamprell has been fined £2.4m for failing to keep investors abreast of its worsening financial position last year, the City watchdog said yesterday.

The Middle East-focused company could not “adequately monitor its financial performance against its budget and against market expectations”, and so failed in its obligation to keep the market fully informed of its deteriorating financial position in 2012, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said yesterday.

It also said the firm was too slow in acting to prevent its employees from continuing to deal in its shares once its poor performance had been recognised by senior management.

The FSA said the penalty is the first of its kind under a tougher policy which bases penalties on a firm’s market capitalisation, and would have been higher had the company not settled early.

“Lamprell’s systems and controls may have been adequate at an earlier stage, but failed to keep pace with its growth,” Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA, said yesterday. Lamprell said its board has resolved to strengthen the company’s systems and financial reporting processes.

Malcolm Graham-Wood, oil analyst at VSA Capital, said yesterday that it was a case of “lesson learned and back to business” for Lamprell.