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Eddie Stobart flags higher debt, considers raising equity

(Reuters) - Logistics firm Eddie Stobart Plc <ESLE.L> on Monday flagged higher debt and said it was considering the potential for raising new equity, while scrapping dividends for the year.

The news comes a month after the departure of Chief Executive Officer Alex Laffey and the suspension of trading in its stock following the company's failure to publish its half-year results in time.

The company, whose largest shareholder is troubled fund manager Neil Woodford with a 22.9% stake, had warned on profit in July, citing a slowdown in some businesses and a forced exit from a "problematic" contract.

Eddie Stobart said on Monday it continues to expect the underlying earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the year to be "significantly below" its expectations.

The company was reviewing its previous statements under new Chief Financial Officer Anoop Kangits when it found that 2018 adjusted operating profit was overstated by about 2 million pounds.

"The group's senior management team, led by Sebastien Desreumaux, has commenced wide-ranging review of the Group's operations with a view to improving operating margins and its overall financial performance, taking into account current market conditions," the company said.

Eddie Stobart Logistics said earlier this month that it had received a preliminary expression of interest from its third largest shareholder, DBAY Advisors Limited.

(Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)