Bronze in mire over accounts

Black cabs fell into black holes today as Manganese Bronze — maker of the iconic London taxi — said it found accounting errors going back more than two years.

Days after the Spice Girls wowed the Olympic closing ceremony audience from the top of brighly lit London cabs, the firm also warned that first-half losses will be "substantially higher" than last year's.

Manganese shares crashed by a third, falling to their lowest level for more than decade. The company said the accounting errors meant it had overstated its profits by £3.9m — the equivalent of the on-the-road price of about 120 TX4 cabs.

It said the errors happened when it introduced a new IT system in August 2010 and transfers from the old system overstated some stocks and understated some liabilities. Manganese said that although first-half losses would be much higher than last year's £905,000, it expects sales to pick up in the second half but could not say whether that meant it would hit City expectations.