South Africa: Steinhoff's Delayed 2018 Results Show, Once Again, That It Probably Is Not a Going Concern

(file photo)

Scandal-plagued retailer Steinhoff has published its much-delayed 2018 results. The usual headlines, such as the size of earnings or losses, really don't apply here. The bottom line is one repeated verbatim from the 2017 results published last month: '(The) facts ... cast significant doubt upon the Company and Group's ability to continue as a going concern beyond the foreseeable future.'

A variation of the following comment appears several times in Steinhoff's 2018 results:

"The last 18 months have been a challenging time for the Company, following the events of December 2017."

Another variation states: "The last 18 months have been a challenging time for the Company, its subsidiaries, employees and stakeholders."

"Challenging" indeed. In December 2017, auditors from Deloitte said they could not sign off on its books because they were not up to scratch. That triggered the biggest accounting scandal in the history of corporate South Africa, which has long prided itself on the veracity of its income statements and balance sheets. One result was that the group's 2017 financials were published only last month.

Now we have the 2018 results. It remains to be seen if there will be an entity called Steinhoff standing when the 2019 numbers...

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