Airtours retains Andersen as auditor

Accountancy

Airtours plc has reappointed Andersen as its auditor following a vote at the company's agm.

The news gave a welcome boost to Andersen in the UK, as UK managing partner John Ormerod sought to reassure clients and the public about the firm's integrity in the light of investigations into Enron's collapse.

Andersen said it was 'absolutely delighted' with the decision by Airtours, which became MyTravel Group shortly after the agm. 'The group is a very valuable client to us and we look forward to continuing to work with them.'

MyTravel's chief executive Tim Byrne told that he was 'appalled and disgusted' by Andersen's trial by press on the issue of clients reappointing it as auditor. 'We can only speak as we find. We're appointed as directors to run our company and to appoint auditors on behalf of the shareholders to provide us with an independent audit. We've always found Andersen to be independent, to be people of integrity, they've always carried out their work professionally, and they are always very robust and rigorous in their questioning.'

He pointed out that no-one knew or understood what the facts were where Enron was concerned. 'Of course, we will always look at these things when the true facts are available. It would appear to us that no-one seems to understand what the facts are.'

Last year, the group paid Andersen £1.2m in audit fees and £7.2m for non-audit services.

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