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Tongaat suspends shares due to results delay

Shares in South African sugar producer Tongaat Hulett were suspended from trade on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges on Monday at the company’s request as it prepares to restate its financial results.

Tongaat’s shares have fallen 42% since it first said in April that it would restate its 2018 financial results.

Last month it also delayed the release of its 2019 financial results, for the year ended March 2019, to October from May.

“Owing to the Board’s concern that there is insufficient information in the market to enable investors to make informed decisions, the Board has voluntarily approached the JSE with a request for a suspension of the listing of the Company’s securities,” Tongaat said in a statement on Monday.

It reiterated that it aimed to publish its financial results for the year ended March 2019 by the end of October and said its shares would resume trade then, or earlier if sufficiently reliable information can be released.

Its shares were down 5.30% at R13.21 in Johannesburg when they were suspended just after 1300 GMT, in the middle of the trading day.

The company said it was continuing with its strategic review and turnaround strategy that would include cost reductions, the sale of possible assets and restructuring of operations.

Tongaat, which has operations in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, said last month that its 2018 results could face a potential hit of up to R4.5 billion ($306 million) following a review of its accounting practices.

Tongaat, which has a primary listing on the Johannesburg stock exchange and a secondary listing on the London stock Exchange, had said in April that it would restate prior financial information after a formal review revealed certain accounting practices that needed to be re-examined. –