Lockdown delays Steinhoff’s annual report

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JOHANNESBURG – Steinhoff International has pushed the publication of its 2019 annual report to the end of June as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a negative impact on businesses across the globe.

The retailer said last week that in light of the impact of Covid-19, financial regulators in countries in which it operated had indicated that they would take into consideration that the operational restrictions relating to Covid-19 could have an impact on the timetable for the publication of its 2019 annual report and financial statements.Steinhoff said the April 30 deadline for completing its consolidated financial reporting and related audit processes could no longer be met as a result of the restrictions on travel and social distancing measures put in place.

“The necessary restrictions on travel and the need to enforce social-distancing measures have resulted in delays to the audit process, including challenges in providing or obtaining audit documentation for judgmental areas and, despite a significant effort by all parties, the April 30 timeline for completing the group consolidated financial reporting and related audit processes can no longer be met,” it said.

“The management board and Mazars, the group’s external auditor have, based on currently available information, jointly agreed on a revised timeline. On this basis, the group currently estimates that it will be able to publish its 2019 annual report, including the audited consolidated financial statements by June 30,” the group said.

In June, Steinhoff switched auditors from Deloitte, which had audited the firm for more than 20 years to Mazars, following a number of significant accounting irregularities, which were first identified in December 2017 and led it to restate its 2015 and 2016 accounts

Steinhoff said yesterday that the new schedule was provisional and subject to change, as the restrictions and related impacts arising from Covid-19 remained fluid and uncertain.

Steinhoff chief financial officer Theodore de Klerk said finalising the accounting and audit work for the 2019 annual report had presented an unexpected additional challenge, and they would require more time to complete the task. “Having conducted a thorough review of all matters outstanding with Mazars, we have estimated a new timetable that we believe is achievable. We have a clear view of the tasks ahead and I would like to assure all stakeholders that we continue to apply maximum effort to finish the job,” De Klerk said.

The group said the delay in publishing the annual report would also impact the timing of its forthcoming annual general meeting, which was scheduled for June 26. But the group said a new date would be announced once there was more certainty.

Steinhoff shares dropped 5.88percent to close at R1.28 on the JSE yesterday.

BUSINESS REPORT 

 

By Sandile Mchunu

Credit: www.iol.co.za

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