A COMPANY sign on the Steinhoff International Holdings company headquarters in Stellenbosch. The group has pushed back the release of its financial results by four months and they are expected in mid-April, extending from the December 2018 deadline. Dwayne Senior Bloomberg
DURBAN – Almost 13 months since Steinhoff International was plunged into a crisis when it admitted to accounting irregularities, the troubled retailer has yet to recover from the scandal with its share price continuing to slide even further on the JSE.

The share price has shed more than 95 percent, which led to former chief executive Markus Jooste resigning in a huff in December 2017 with more than R200billion lost in market capitalisation.

After more than a year since the scandal emerged, the decline in share price has continued with the situation exacerbated by the group’s failure to release its 2017 and 2018 financial reports. 

The group has pushed back the release of its financial results by four months and they are expected in mid-April, extending from the December 2018 deadline.

Steinhoff announced on December 6 last year that the probe by PwC into the company's affairs was now expected to be completed by the end of February, followed by the release of its financial results. 

It said the investigative process had been significantly more complex than anticipated, with multiple work streams operating across a number of jurisdictions.

“The investigation is substantially complete, but more time is required to finalise a number of follow-up work streams. The investigation is now expected to be complete by the end of February, with the final report being available to the company shortly thereafter,” the group said last month.

However, the extension led to the group's share price declining by more than 10percent on the day to R1.60 a share. It is yet to recover as it traded around R1.70 on Friday afternoon.

Jordan Weir, a trader at Citadel, said the release of the results would not lead to a recovery in the group's share price, but it will give investors a clearer picture to what really transpired in the company before the scandal erupted.

“The release of the company's 2017/18 delayed results, expected in April, would more than likely bring about more “clarity” than “stability” to Steinhoff’s share price and underlying shareholder sentiment,” Weir said. He added that, in general, he did not think that the market had seen the end of Steinhoff’s “dark days”. “With this thought in mind, further negative news surrounding the company should not come as a surprise to investors,” Weir said.

Despite going through a bad patch in 2018, the retailer has been able to report some encouraging progress in an effort to bring some much-needed liquidity. 

Some of the achievements include receiving an extension from its creditors to settle outstanding debts, selling some stakes in KAP Industrial Holdings, PSG Group and Pepkor Holdings to raise finances.

During the year Steinhoff also managed to bring stability to its US subsidiary Mattress Firm.

BUSINESS REPORT