May 18, 2018 / 1:24 PM / 3 months ago

Steinhoff flags first-half loss as restructuring wipes out sales gain

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - South African retailer Steinhoff (SNHJ.J), which has been embroiled in an accounting scandal, expects to report a first-half net loss as costs related to restructuring, losses on asset sales and litigation offset a rise in revenues.

Group retail revenue is expected to rise 1 percent to 9.4 billion euros ($11.1 billion) in the six months through March 2018, it said following a meeting with lenders on Friday, citing preliminary figures.

It did not disclose the size of its first-half loss after tax was but said it was preparing to publish unaudited first-half figures on June 29.

The retailer has been fighting for survival after it discovered accounting irregularities in December which sparked a sell-off in its shares that wiped more than $10 billion off its stock market value and led to multiple investigations globally.

The company’s shares were up around 10 percent at 1425 GMT.

It said on Friday it hoped to have a restructuring plan in place shortly to put to creditors that would include measures such as fixing the maturity for all loans at three years from the restructuring date.

Steinhoff, which runs retail chains such as Britain’s Poundland, Mattress Firm in the U.S. and Conforama in France, has hired auditors PwC to investigate its problems and the accounting firm has gathered millions of records.

Earlier this month, it said that PwC’s investigation had found that overstatement of its profits might result in additional material impairments, which it would present along with full first-half results in June.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Jane Merriman

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