Sheepish Imtech beats itself up

self-flagellationRed-faced technical services giant Imtech has said sorry to its customers, suppliers and staff after an internal probe revealed a catalogue of irregularities in some of its bigger projects

Imtech bought the UK systems integrator Capula last year and IBM reseller Real Solutions in 2008, but it seems that its problems lay over the channel.

In an announcement the company said that it wanted to close a “dark chapter” in its history by making public a 96-page report detailing the “unethical and undesirable” business behaviour that led it to write off €370 million on recent projects.

The problems were first noticed across four big Polish projects and resulted in the company carrying out a more detailed investigation.

Further irregularities relating to its German operations were also found and Imtech concluded that its business controls had er… “not worked adequately” and its corporate culture was “sub-optimal and too much focused on good news only”.

The German and Polish projects resulted in a €370 million shortfall in its fiscal 2012 results, which it delayed publishing until today.

It results in a surprise €226.3 million net loss for the year. This is far more than the €100 million or so it expected to write off in relation to the original Polish contracts.

The probe has resulted in management changes in Germany and Poland, the filing of criminal complaints in German and Poland and the implementation of better business controls.

Chief executive Gerard van de Aast apologised to shareholders, customers, suppliers and partners – as well as its employees.

He said that the shareholder report was written with full transparency, since it believed that healing from this dark chapter in Imtech’s history must start with openness about the investigations and findings.

“It goes without saying that in the future this kind of conduct will not be tolerated,” he said.