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Deloitte distances itself from Alitalia figures

Alitalia's auditor Deloitte and Touche said today it was unable to form an opinion on the troubled airline's full-year 2003 results because of significant uncertainties surrounding the company's business plan and financing.

“Because of relevant uncertainties… we are unable to form an opinion about Alitalia's full-year results,” Deloitte said.

The auditor said that the carrier's financial situation deteriorated sharply last year and in the first few months of this year. Without decisive measures, the company could face liquidation, it warned.

On May 20, Deloitte had already said it was unable to form an opinion on the company's balance sheet because of operating losses in 2003 and the first few months of 2004, and Alitalia's worsening finances.

On May 20, Alitalia announced a net loss of 519.7 million euros (624.2 million dollars), against a profit in 2002 of 93.1 million euros.

The announcement caused concern among investors and shares in Alitalia were sharply lower in midmorning trading, shedding 2.61 percent to 0.228 euros while the Mibtel index of Italian stocks was down 0.26% at 20,928 points.

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