Shares in Eidos slump by one-fifth

Shares in Eidos, the developer of smash-hit computer game "Tomb Raider", fell by nearly a fifth to 447.5p yesterday following press reports of an investigation by City regulators into share dealings in the company.

However, Charles Cornwall, chairman of Eidos, insisted yesterday that "neither the company nor its advisers were aware of any investigation".

Eidos announced a loss before tax of pounds 4.9m in the three months to the end of June this year, in line with most forecasts. Mr Cornwall said the company was "still on target to make a profit in the year to March 1998."

Mr Cornwall said the company's share price was vulnerable following the decision by Coopers & Lybrand last week not to stand for re-election as Eidos' auditors. They will be replaced by KPMG.

The chairman said Coopers had decided not to stand again because Eidos had failed to comply with several Cadbury Committee guidelines, which had now been rectified. "We had some pretty tense moments with them, but choosing not to stand for re-election is very different to resignation," he said.

The company intends to appoint some new non-executive directors "in the near future" in order to bring it more into line with Cadbury.

Eidos is the world's third largest developer of computer games software and its "Tomb Raider" has sold 2 million copies.