Next Digital delays announcement of annual results

Next Digital announced on Friday that it won’t be able to publish its annual results by the end of the month due to police’s national security investigations linked to its now-defunct newspaper, Apple Daily.

In documents filed with the Stock Exchange, the company said its independent auditor needs more time to perform audit work and assess the financial impact on the annual results of the media firm and its subsidiaries.

It added that it would be inappropriate for the company to publish preliminary financial results.

The accounts may be “incapable of truly and fairly reflecting the financial performance and position of the group for the year ended on March 31, 2021,” the document said.

“The board is therefore of the view that the publication of the unaudited management accounts could lead to confusion and be misleading to shareholders and any potential investors.”

The troubled company also said it will postpone the board meeting on Monday, and therefore it can’t give a definitive date for the announcement of the annual results.

Trading of Next Digital, meanwhile, will remain suspended until further notice.

The pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper ceased operation on Thursday, just about a week after police arrested several of its top executives.

Two of them have been charged with colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security, while the remaining four people have been released on bail without charge.

Authorities have also frozen about HK$18 million of assets owned by three companies linked to Apple Daily, crippling its ability to maintain operations.