Steinhoff to restate 2016 financial results

(Reuters) - Steinhoff International Holdings NV SNHG.DE said on Wednesday that its 2016 financial results will have to be restated, because some of its European unit's 2017 balance sheet assets that are under scrutiny are also relevant to the 2016 financial results.

It added that the 2016 consolidated financial statements “can no longer be relied upon” .

The South African said that “it saw issues regarding the validity and recoverability of certain Steinhoff Europe’s balance sheet assets under scrutiny in the 2017 audit work that are also relevant to the 2016 consolidated financial results.”

Steinhoff is taking “all necessary steps” to address the audit issues, it added.

The multinational retail group, the owner of more than 40 retail brands including Conforama, Mattress Firm and Poundland, is fighting for survival after more than $14 billion was wiped off its market value last week. The losses came following its disclosure of accounting irregularities and the exit of its chief executive.

It had also postponed the release of its 2017 results until the inquiry was over.

Steinhoff, which moved its primary share listing from Johannesburg to Frankfurt two years ago, has been under investigation for suspected accounting irregularities by the state prosecutor in Oldenburg, Germany, since 2015.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru, editing by David Evans, Larry King