Despite "significant efforts being exerted by all parties", PwC's timeline for completing its forensic investigation into the Steinhoff Group's finances has taken longer than anticipated, and is now likely to be completed in February 2019, with a full report to follow in April.

The reports, which is investigating and auditing the group's financial statements for 2017 and 2018 following "accounting irregularities" which came to light late last year, are being carried out alogside a thorough restructuring process at Steinhoff.

Once the forensic report findings and the final accounting treatments are resolved, the statutory auditors must complete the outstanding audit processes for the years involved ahead of the generation of financial statements.

Chairperson Heather Sonn says: "We sincerely regret this revision to the reporting timeline. While substantial progress has been made, the volume and complexity of the work required, including the interactions between the various parties, has been significantly greater than initially anticipated and more time is needed for all parties involved to complete the outstanding tasks.

"I would like to assure all stakeholders that we continue to approach these projects with maximum effort and commitment as we seek to bring them to conclusion.

"In parallel, our financial restructuring continues to make good progress. Our recently announced plans regarding the restructuring of the group’s financial indebtedness are significant milestones and will bring in a new period of financial stability for the group."