Tongaat again delays publication of full-year results

8th October 2019 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Creamer Media Reporter

Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett will not publish its results for the 2019 financial year on October 31 as previously planned.

The company in May announced that there would be a delay in publishing the results for the financial year ended March 31 and that it would have to restate its results for the 2018 financial year, as a strategic and financial review had revealed past practices that were of concern.

Tongaat initiated a forensic review into those practices and, in June, requested the voluntary suspension of its shares on the JSE and LSE while the review is concluded.

The company on Tuesday said that the forensic review had been completed.

“The board, together with the management team, is progressing well in developing a robust remedial plan in response to the forensic report, which is directed at strengthening corporate governance, financial controls and oversight at all levels within the organisation,” Tongaat said.

Further, the company’s management had undertaken its own comprehensive internal review process, which spanned all group business units and covered “the appropriateness of the selected accounting policies, the application thereof and an assessment of the key assumptions used to prepare the financial statements”.

“The internal review process has been complex and extensive going back some six years. It was performed in consultation with the group's external auditors and has necessitated a number of amendments to the group's major accounting policies and practices. 

“In exercising an appropriate level of governance and oversight, the group's audit committee has approved these revised accounting policies as being in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and in line with industry practices,” Tongaat stated, adding that the release of its results had, therefore, been delayed.

The sugar producer plans to provide an update on the release date for its results on November 18.

Meanwhile, Tongaat on Tuesday said it was also making progress in its negotiations with its South African and Mozambican debt providers on the restructure of its short- and long-term debt facilities.

Initiatives and interventions to improve liquidity have already been implemented and the board continues to closely and regularly monitor liquidity and solvency.

The strategic review has highlighted various alternatives available to Tongaat to reduce the group's debt.

Consequently, the board with the assistance of its advisers, is considering the possible sale of assets, a possible equity capital raise or a combination thereof.