Steinhoff shares tumble after release of 2017 results

Steinhoff logo.

File: Steinhoff logo.

African News Agency

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg-listed shares of Steinhoff fell almost 20 percent on Thursday after the scandal-hit firm reported a $4-billion operating loss in the 2017 fiscal year in a much-delayed earnings report.

Steinhoff, which is also listed in Frankfurt, released the report in the early hours of Wednesday morning when South African markets were closed due to a general election.

READ: D-day as Steinhoff is expected to publish results

The firm had delayed the results, which revealed the impact of a $7.4-billion accounting fraud, after finding holes in its accounts, shocking investors who had backed its reinvention from small South African furniture outfit into a discount furniture retailer straddling four continents.

By 8.30am, Steinhoff's South African listed shares were down 16.42 percent at R1.68 after falling more than 19 percent in early trade.

"It was always going to be a disaster there," said Mark Loubser, portfolio manager at Independent Securities.

READ: FSCA finds no proof of insider trading at Steinhoff

The company's Frankfurt-listed shares fell 14 percent on Wednesday and were down a further 8.5 percent on Thursday.

Steinhoff said in December 2017 it had uncovered accounting irregularities, erasing about 85 percent of its market value and throwing it into a liquidity crisis.