Steinhoff set to release half-year earnings report

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Steinhoff is set to publish its 2019 half-year results on Friday, which will give investors some insight into how the scandal-plagued retailer's turnaround strategy is playing out.

In mid-June, the Stellenbosch-headquartered conglomerate posted a loss of €1.19bn (R19.35bn at the time) when it published its delayed results for the year ended September 2018 . In May, it announced a restated loss of €3.99bn (roughly R65bn at the time) for the 12 months to September 2017. It is also facing mounting legal claims.

Steinhoff's share price plummeted in December 2017 after its CEO Markus Jooste abruptly resigned at the start of an accounting scandal. The group's shares have dived by over 95% since Jooste stepped down, cutting its market capitalisation by over R200bn.

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.

In March, it released key findings from the PwC forensic probe, which revealed that a "small group" of former executives, acting with directors of other companies, for years inflated the profit and asset values of the Steinhoff group.

Steinhoff shares were trading at R1.27 a share at close of trade on Thursday, some 20 cents above their all-time low of R1.07.

Civil claims 

Last month the retailer lodged a civil claim in the Western Cape High Court against Jooste and its former CFO Ben La Grange. 

It wants base salaries, performance bonuses, strategic bases, project bonuses, and the value of the shares awarded in company share schemes paid back by the two executives. According to Fin24's calculations, this corresponds to about R830m for Joost 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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