Steinhoff says it will consider selling its best businesses


Embattled retailer Steinhoff International, whose chains include Pepkor and Conforama, says it will consider letting go of its best businesses as it struggles to stay afloat.

“We must provide our strongest performing businesses with the opportunity to perform to their full potential and ensure that Steinhoff’s shareholding is not a hindrance to their growth,” the group said in a statement on Thursday.

“As part of our debt-reduction strategy, all options will be considered. Therefore, as we continue with our restructuring, we will keep the future ownership of these businesses under review.”

Steinhoff said consolidated net sales from continuing operations in the nine months to end-June rose 4% to €10.1bn (R171.9bn).

This was thanks to “strong contributions” from Pepkor Europe and Pepkor Africa, whose chains include Pep, Ackermans and Incredible Connection.

Pepkor Africa increased revenue in constant-currency terms by 8.5% to R53.1bn in the nine-month period, boosted by a stronger third quarter, the group said.

“However, trading remains volatile in an environment of continued pressure on consumer spending.”

Steinhoff said legal claims against it remain “a significant outstanding challenge”.

The group is reeling after announcing in late 2017 that it had uncovered “accounting irregularities”. Its CEO at the time, Markus Jooste, resigned with immediate effect.