Steinhoff has further delayed the release of its audited 2017 and 2018 results, saying the findings of a PwC investigation into SA’s biggest corporate fraud have introduced a new layer of complexity to the process.

The company, whose shares have plunged more than 90% since it disclosed “accounting irregularities” in December 2017, said on Friday that it is prioritising the release of its revised 2017 results. The 2017 and 2018 results will be released on May 7 and June 18, respectively.

Steinhoff had already indicated it would not meet a mid-April guidance for its revised financial statements.

Steinhoff CFO Philip Dieperink said in the statement that the volume and complexity of the accounting work had created a much greater workload than anticipated, requiring the deployment of additional resources by auditor Deloitte.

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Former CEO Markus Jooste resigned shortly after the disclosure of the alleged fraud and is among the individuals implicated in the PwC report, current CEO Louis du Preez told parliament in March.

The group is now facing the prospect of massive fines and a class-action lawsuit from shareholders, raising questions as to the underlying value of its equity.

After initially falling as much as 4.44%, by 2.45pm shares in the group were down 3.33% to R1.74, having fallen 8.51% so far this week.

In a separate announcement on Friday, Steinhoff said it had appointed Louis Strydom as chief compliance and risk officer, effective July 1. Strydom headed the team that worked on the forensic report into the beleaguered retailer.