Steinhoff posts R8.9bn loss in half-year earnings report

Steinhoff [JSE:SNH] has posted a loss of €571m (R8.9bn at current exchange rates) for the half-year ended March 31.

The Stellenbosch-headquartered conglomerate on Friday published its unaudited half-year earnings report on Friday.

The loss for the period is slightly down from the comparable period in 2018, when it suffered a loss of €609m (R9.5bn). The €571m loss includes both continuing and discontinued operations. For its continuing operations, the half-year loss was €242m (R3.8bn). 

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

"Although corporate and treasury services costs were much reduced, the operational results for the period continued to reflect the knock-on impact of the announcement of accounting irregularities in December 2017," Steinhoff wrote in its operational review.

"Management at group and operational level continued to spend a significant amount of time and effort engaging with funders, suppliers and other business partners to ensure their continued support."

The group added its customer confidence had stabilised.

In a note Steinhoff said the publication of Friday's earnings report "addresses the company’s disclosure backlog and brings its financial reporting back up to date".

Steinhoff only mentioned its former CEO Markus Jooste once in Friday's 97-page report, to note that it had  launched proceedings against him and former CFO Ben la Grange in the Cape Town High Court. 

It wants their base salaries, performance bonuses, strategic bases, project bonuses, and the value of the shares awarded in company share schemes paid back. According to Fin24's calculations, this corresponds to about R830m for Jooste and roughly R270m for La Grange.

Both executives have previously denied any wrongdoing and their legal teams say they intend to oppose the claims. 

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