Steinhoff may restate its 2015 figures as extent of scandal grows

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CFO

Steinhoff has dealt another blow to investors and creditors this morning warning that its accounts from 2015 may also need to be restated.

The accounting scandal which broke in late 2017 has already decimated the retailer’s reputation, seeing two chief executives resign. Furthermore around 90 per cent of Steinhoff’s share price value has been wiped off, estimated to total around £9 billion.

In December, following a probe into “accounting irregularities” which saw the shock departure of its chief executive Marcus Joost, the group revealed that its 2016 accounts would have to be restated.

However, today the retailer has warned investors to “exercise caution” revealing that accounts as far back as 2015 will also have to be restated.

A spokesman said the “restatement of the financial statements of Steinhoff Investment Holdings Limited for years prior to 2015 is likely to be required and investors in Steinhoff are advised to exercise caution in relation to such statements”.

The probe remains active and the story is still developing, with no solid date for the probe’s completion yet established.

Last week Steinhoff’s rating was downgraded for a second time by Moody’s to CAA1, meaning it is an extremely high-risk investment.

Moody’s also highlighted Steinhoff’s £1.3 billion debt pile stating that the continuing scandal made it “challenging to either repay or refinance these debt maturities”.

The fate of its UK companies Poundland, Bensons for Beds and Harvey’s are not yet known, however it is likely that Steinhoff will be forced to sell them off in an effort to consolidate its staggering losses.

With speculation growing over the fate of Steinhoffs UK companies, a Poundland spokesperson said it had “always been run at arms length from Steinhoff” and was “independent, profitable and financially strong, delivering positive cash flows”.

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