So, there was this lovely piece in which Ritchie tried to look at the accounts of Centrica.
Now I can spot the £2,625m group operating profit that ties to the segment note in there. But can you find the £2,516 referred to on page 37? No, neither can I.
And is the tax charge on page 37 the same as the group P & L? Not unless £1,169m is now the same as £1,110m.
And can you tell how much of the £2,625m operating profit is in the Uk from the segment note? Is it that sum less the Direct Energy profit of £331m? If so that’s £2,294 but page 37 says the UK operating profit is either £2,079 or more likely for comparison here £1,956m.
So do I think Centrica is telling me what I need to know about UK profits and tax? No, I don’t.
Nor do I think its IFRS8 segment reporting is complete because I think it should be reporting the UK as a segment as it clearly has data for the country as a whole.
And the result of all this is that I think my claim is more than justified having spent some more time looking at this today.
But I promise – if Centrica want to tell me where I’ve gone wrong and why someone should spend several hours trying to answer such a fair question from their accounts, I’m more than happy to publish the explanation.
We then get this explanation of what Ritchie has wrong from the FCA Blog.
And that’s it. This is the man that goes into rants about how companies need to be forced to disclose more information in their accounts. But when presented with a set of statutory accounts, he demonstrates time and time again that he’s incapable of understanding the information that’s already there.
This is brought to the attention of the Murphmeister and his response is:
I do not respond to anyone who breaches almost every rule on professional ethics ever written
Isn’t that cute?
Sure, according to the letter of what Richie said he would only publish an explanation coming from Centrica. But then it is Ritchie who continually says that we should look to the spirit, not the letter, isn’t it? There is an explanation of the information that Ritchie was seeking. Shouldn’t he, in that spirit, thus publish it? Respond to it?
And if anyone at Centrica does indeed read this then why don’t you send Ritchie that explanation yourselves? And let us know that you have done?