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All eyes on Steinhoff as shares resume JSE trade after public holiday

May 09 2019 06:00
Jan Cronje

Shares in Steinhoff [JSE:SHN] will resume trading on the JSE on Thursday after the Stellenbosch-headquartered retail conglomerate published its long-delayed 2017 earnings late on Tuesday.

The group's shares were last quoted at R2.01 a share at close of trade on Tuesday. The local bourse was shut on Wednesday for elections.

In its 2018 annual report, Steinhoff reported a net loss of €4.03bn for the financial year ended September 30, 2017, and a loss of €279m for the 15 months ended September 30, 2016. Steinhoff announces its results in euros, as it is domiciled in the Netherlands and has its primary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

According the annual report, the group's former Markus Jooste was awarded millions in bonuses without approval in 2017.

This included a bonus payment of €500 000 (R8m at current exchange rates) in March 2017, made without board approval, and a separate bonus of €1.57m (R25.2m at current exchange rates) which was approved by the group's board but was paid to Jooste before its due date.

Jooste resigned from Steinhoff in early December 2017 after the group's auditors Deloitte flagged accounting irregularities in its books.

Appearing before Parliament in September 2018, the former CEO protested his innocence, saying he was not aware of any Steinhoff staff members who deliberately flouted their code of conduct.

At the time he ascribed the massive fall in the group's share price to the delay in the release of its earning reports, which he said created uncertainty. He also largely attempted blame the problems at the group on a decision to enter into a joint venture with German businessman Andreas Seifert in 2007.

Steinhoff shares have fallen by over 95% since December 2017, cutting the group's market capitalisation by roughly R200bn. 

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