January 30, 2018 / 1:06 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Steinhoff notifies Dutch regulator about delay to 2017 results

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JOHANNESBURG, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Steinhoff International said on Tuesday it had informed the Dutch financial market regulator that it will not publish its audited 2017 consolidated financial statements by Jan. 31.

Steinhoff, which is incorporated in the Netherlands, in December postponed its 2017 results “until further notice” after it admitted accounting irregularities. This triggered a slide in its shares that wiped more than $10 billion off its market capitalisation.

Steinhoff’s supervisory board then asked consultants PwC to undertake an independent investigation.

The firm, which owns more than 40 brands including Poundland in Britain, said in a statement on Tuesday that PwC’s independent investigation was ongoing and that PwC continued to work with the company’s legal advisers.

As a result of the ongoing independent probe, Steinhoff would give an update on the progress of the accounting enquiries and the availability of its results “as soon as it is able to do so”, it said.

The company also said it had received a compliance notice from the South African Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission saying Steinhoff should take steps to investigate the accounting irregularities “Within a period of six months from the date of the compliance notice and to bring the necessary actions that may be required in terms of the Act (South African Companies Act).” It did not say when it had received the compliance notice.

Steinhoff bought itself some breathing space on Friday by plugging a short-term funding gap and said in a presentation to European lenders, it expected to give a quarterly trading update at the end of February.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by James Macharia and Jane Merriman

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