London taxi maker hit by errors in its accounts

SHARES in Manganese Bronze slid by a third yesterday after the London black cab maker admitted it had a £4m hole in its accounts.

Engineering firm Manganese Bronze, which is 20 per cent owned by Chinese car group Geely, has delayed its half-year results due to the accounting errors caused by the implementation of a new IT system. This means that results for 2011 and previous years will need to be reinstated.

Group trading in the first seven months of 2012 has been “difficult” for the group, and it continues to trade at a loss. First-half sales in 2012 were lower than the first half of last year.

Mazars, the firm’s auditor, did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Manganese Bronze is the parent firm of the London Taxi Company, which has served the licensed taxi trade since 1899.

In March, it won a 1,000 vehicle contract with Azerbaijan to supply its cabs, but there are currently no plans for any further contracts in the country. The company also won a contract with Bahrain in 2008.

Manganese originally made ship propellors, but the London Taxi Company started making cabs in 1947, and since then more than 100,000 cabs have rolled off its Coventry production lines.

In 2007, Manganese finalised a joint venture with Chinese Geely Automobile Holdings to produce purpose-built taxis in Shanghai.

The shares closed at 16.5p.