Steinhoff’s Stellenbosch, Cape Town, branch.
INTERNATIONAL - The acting chairman of Steinhoff, Heather Sonn, told shareholders on Friday the company had made “good progress on the accounting irregularities” which led the South African retail group to overstate income and asset values.

In a presentation to shareholders, Steinhoff also said an investigation into the company is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The inquiry had already “confirmed a pattern of transactions undertaken over a number of years across a variety of asset classes that led to the material overstatement of income and asset values at the group”, it said.

Steinhoff’s accounting problems stretch back to at least the 2015 financial year, it has said. It has asked auditors PwC to get to the bottom of the problems. 

Steinhoff, which runs chains such as Poundland and Mattress Fir, is fighting for survival after discovering holes in its books. The accounting scandal wiped billions off its stock market value and triggered a cash crunch.

“The group has been engaging with its creditors across the debt clusters to create a window of stability and to develop a restructuring plan,” the company said in a presentation.