Steinhoff chair Heather Sonn. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ DWAYNE SENIOR
Steinhoff chair Heather Sonn. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ DWAYNE SENIOR

Steinhoff International marked the anniversary of when its 2017 financial year results were originally scheduled to be released by announcing a further delay until April.

“Unfortunately, despite significant efforts being exerted by all parties, it is now clear that the timeline for completing the group consolidated financial reporting and audit process has shifted and it will not be possible for all the work required to be finalised within the original timeframe,” Steinhoff said in a statement on Thursday morning.

“The company now estimates that it will publish its group audited financial statements for 2017 and 2018 by the middle of April 2019. The 2017 and 2018 financial statements for Steinhoff Investment Holdings will be released shortly thereafter.”

The drama which decimated Steinhoff’s share price started on December 4 2017 when it issued a statement saying its results “will be released albeit in unaudited form on schedule on December 6 2017.”

The reason why it could not release audited results was clarified two days later when instead of releasing the results, it informed investors Markus Jooste had resigned with immediate effect as CEO and it had appointed auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate accounting irregularities.

The announcement on December 6 2017 sent Steinhoff’s share price crashing 61%, and it lost a further 43% the next day.

“We sincerely regret this revision to the reporting timeline. While substantial progress has been made, the volume and complexity of the work required, including the interactions between the various parties, has been significantly greater than initially anticipated and more time is needed for all parties involved to complete the outstanding tasks,” chair Heather Sonn said in Thursday morning’s statement.

“I would like to assure all stakeholders that we continue to approach these projects with maximum effort and commitment as we seek to bring them to conclusion.”

laingr@businesslive.co.za