Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Accounting crisis deepens at Poundland, Harveys and Bensons owner Steinhoff

PUBLISHED: 10:45 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:08 02 January 2018

Poundland owner Steinhoff may now have to restate accounts going at least as far back as 2013.

Poundland owner Steinhoff may now have to restate accounts going at least as far back as 2013.

Archant

The future of the company behind discount retail chain Poundland became further clouded today as it warned that accounting issues may date back further than previously thought.

South African-based group Steinhoff, which acquired Poundland in September 2016 for around £600m, said that it may have to restate more historic figures.

Steinhoff, which also owns the Harveys and Bensons for Beds furniture chains in the UK, was plunged into crisis last month after revelations of accounting irregularities linked to its 2016 accounts.

Today, the company said that although an internal investigation remained ongoing, a restatement of accounts “for years prior to 2015 is likely to be required”, adding that the 2016 and 2015 financial statements “can no longer be relied upon”.

The group also warned investors to “exercise caution” in relation to the financial statements.

The initial revelation triggered a share price collapse and a management overhaul, with lenders deserting the firm and credit insurance being withdrawn from its operating companies.

There are nearly 40 Poundland stores across East Anglia, including four each in and around Norwich and Colchester, three in Great Yarmouth, and two each in Ipswich, Lowestoft and King’s Lynn.

Other Poundland locations include Diss, Thetford, East Dereham, Wisbech, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Sudbury, Haverhill, Martlesham Heath, Clacton-on-Sea, Chelmsford and Witham.

There are also around a dozen branches of Harveys and Bensons for Beds in the region, including stores in Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford, Bury St Edmunds, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.

Last week Steinhoff was again downgraded by ratings agency Moody’s, which has warned that it may not have sufficient funds to “sustain its European operations”.

Cutting Steinhoff’s credit rating from B1 to Caa1, its second such downgrade, Moody’s said the move reflected the “increasing pressure on the company’s liquidity profile”.

Moody’s pointed out that Steinhoff has 1.47bn euros of debt maturing next year, and the investigation into accounting irregularities could “make it challenging to either repay or refinance”.

In December, Steinhoff installed an acting chief executive, Danie van der Merwe, following the resignation of Markus Jooste.

Steinhoff’s chairman, the South African retail billionaire Christo Wiese, had been acting as executive chairman on an interim basis following Mr Jooste’s departure, but resigned in order to “address any possible conflict of interest that may exist”.

Mr Wiese’s Brait investment group owns stakes in Virgin Active, New Look and food chain Iceland.

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

A historic sundial at Christchurch Park in Ipswich which was restored to its former glory last year has been vandalised.

Train services running through Stowmarket station are returning to normal following an earlier broken down freight train but delays can still be expected.

Solicitors claim they are being inundated with queries from people who gave their houses over to an Ipswich-based company, which has since collapsed.

A unique collaboration between a non-profit business group and West Suffolk College is aiming to shape up entrepreneurial mindsets for the world of work.

A large-scale investigation has been launched into an Ipswich-based financial company

Police are treating the stabbing of an 18-year-old man in Felixstowe yesterday as a targeted attack.

You can save £16 on a walk-on fare to from Ipswich to London if you know your way around the complex ticket system.

A man has been arrested in connection with a knifepoint robbery at an Ipswich betting shop at the weekend.

Ipswich council is stepping up the battle against empty homes in the town in a bid to bring more back into use and ease the housing crisis.

Witnesses are being sought by police after a hit-and-run incident in Ipswich last week.

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24