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Asiana suspends share trading

Asiana Airlines suspended share trading on the Korea Exchange on 22 March.

In a brief stock exchange statement, the carrier attributed the suspension to an "audit opinion non-conformity".

South Korean media reports indicate that Asiana's external auditors Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers have issued a "limited opinion" on the airline's audited report.

A report from news.joins.com indicate that Asiana's external auditors felt that it had not obtained "sufficient and appropriate audit evidence" on the recognition and measurement of doubtful debts, "deferred revenue related to maintenance obligations" of leased aircraft, and the fair value of equity shares it held.

Meanwhile, a report from hani.co.kr quoting Asiana as confirming its external auditor's limited opinion, attributing it to "the issue of provisioning additional reserves, the provision of maintenance and repairs for returning aircraft, additional provision of mileage reserves, and the fair value evaluation of affiliate stocks".

Asiana stressed that any "difference in accounting treatment… is not related to operating ability or cash flow". It also hopes to turn the "limited opinion" report by its auditor to that of "appropriate opinion".

In 2018, Asiana Airlines reported a 35% fall in consolidated operating profit to W178 billion ($158 million).

While revenue for the year rose 10% to W6.85 trillion, operating expenses was up 12% to W66.7 trillion due to higher fuel costs.

Despite the operating profit, foreign currency losses pushed Asiana to a net loss of W10.4 billion in 2018, as compared to a W24.8 billion net profit in the previous year.

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