Steinhoff announces loss of almost R20bn for 2018

Retailer Steinhoff posted a loss of €1.19bn (R19.35bn at current exchange rates) for the year ended September 2018. 

The Stellenbosch-headquartered conglomerate published its delayed 2018 audited earnings report on Tuesday afternoon after the close of SA markets.

The €1.19bn loss compares to a restated loss of €3.99bn (roughly R65bn at current exchange rates) for the 12 months ended September 2017.

Steinhoff reports its earnings in euros as it is domiciled in Amsterdam and has its primary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. 

The group had delayed publishing its 2017 and 2018 earnings reports to give auditors PwC time to complete a 15-month forensic probe into its books. Steinhoff instituted the probe in December 2017 after its CEO Markus Jooste abruptly resigned in an accounting scandal. 

While Steinhoff views the full 3 000 page PwC investigation as privileged, it did publish a 11-page overview of the probe’s key findings in March which revealed that a "small group" of former executives inflated the group's profit and asset values for years.  At a Parliamentary committee meeting in June, Steinhoff leadership confirmed that Jooste was one of eight people implicated in the report. Jooste has denied any wrongdoing. 

The group hopes to publish its 2019 half-year results July 12. 

* Rand/euro conversions were calculated at an exchange rate of R16.26 to the euro. 

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