Fresh profit alert at five-a-side operator Goals Soccer Centres

Shares in Scottish five-a-side football business Goals Soccer Centres have suffered a mauling after the firm warned that profits will be “materially below expectations” following the discovery of accounting errors.

Goals Soccer Centres runs 50 sites. Picture: Andrew Worthington
Goals Soccer Centres runs 50 sites. Picture: Andrew Worthington

The East Kilbride-based company, which operates 50 sites in the UK and US, said the group’s board and its auditors were working to resolve certain accounting errors for the financial year to the end of 2018. In addition, they are reviewing some “accounting practices and policies”.

As a result, the firm expects full-year results to be materially below expectations and the reporting date of 12 March – next Tueday – will now be delayed.

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Shares were down by almost 30 per cent in early trading.

In a trading update, the group, in which Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct owns a significant stake, noted that while the “accounting adjustments” are of a non-cash nature, it means Goals is in breach of one of its banking covenants.

“We are in discussions with the bank with a view to agreeing re-negotiated facilities,” it added.

The news is a fresh blow for the company which in January warned that profits would be lower after a revamp of its offering resulted in higher costs.

In its latest stock market update, it confirmed that trading in the first two months of the year had been “strong” with an increase in like-for-like sales, in both the UK and US, over the comparable period in 2018.