Retail news round-up on July 25, 2014: Amazon quarterly loss widened to £74m in its second quarter and Vince Cable to reveal Comet’s administrators face a probe by the accounting watchdog.

Amazon sees quarterly net loss leap £74m

Online retailer Amazon’s net loss widened to $126m (£74m) in the second quarter ended June 30 from a loss of $7m a year ago. The US firm recorded a 23% surge in its three-month revenues to $19.3bn. Amazon forecasts third quarter sales to be between $19.7bn and $21.5bn, which could mean a sales increase of as little as 15%. More than $16bn was wiped off the retailer’s value, in a sign that investors were growing weary of the retail giant’s failure to make consistent profits.

Vince Cable to refer retailer Comet’s liquidators to ICAEW

Business Secretary Vince Cable will reveal today that the liquidators who oversaw the closure of high street chain Comet are to be referred to ICAEW more than 18 months after the electrical goods retailer collapsed into administration, Sky News learns. Cable will say that a government agency Insolvency Service is referring three partners of Deloitte to the accounting watchdog, which has the power to impose substantial fines or strip accountants of their licence to operate.

Insiders said that the ICAEW probe was likely to outline two areas in which it will examine whether Nick Edwards, Christopher Farrington and Neville Kahn breached accounting profession guidelines: a possible conflict of interest which arose because Deloitte acted for Comet before its insolvency as well as undertaking a role as the company’s administrator; and because they failed to consult the chain’s employees properly before they were made redundant.