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South African retailer Steinhoff posts bigger annual loss

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July 1 (Reuters) – Scandal-hit South African retail conglomerate Steinhoff International Holdings NV on Tuesday reported a bigger full-year loss, as it tries to recover from a $7 billion accounting fraud.

The company said its annual loss for the year ended September 2019 widened to 1.8 billion euros ($2.02 billion) from 1.2 billion euros a year earlier. (https://bit.ly/38gUBxt)

Steinhoff, which is also listed in Frankfurt, reported full-year sales of 12 billion euros, compared with 11.4 billion euros in 2018, helped by a boost in merchandise businesses in Europe and Africa.

The company’s debt stood at 9.6 billion euros during the period, Steinhoff said.

The retailer has been restructuring after it revealed the accounting problems in December 2017, which shocked investors and wiped out more than 200 billion rand ($11.53 billion) of shareholder equity.

In November, it said it might issue stock as part of efforts to resolve the multi-billion claims brought against it through lawsuits related to the accounting fraud.

Steinhoff also said no definitive action has been taken regarding the strategic options for Pepco group, the owner of British discount retailer Poundland. The company had previously said it was looking into a range of options for that business, including a potential initial public offering. ($1 = 0.8903 euros) (Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru and Nqobile Dludla in Johannesburg; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Uttaresh.V)


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