Hippo Valley Estates misses deadline yet again

Source: Hippo Valley Estates misses deadline yet again | The Herald November 1, 2019

Tawanda Musarurwa Senior Business Reporter

Sugar processor Hippo Valley Estates Limited has missed its fourth deadline — October 31, 2019 — to publish its audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2019.

“The financial review has been complex and extensive, going back some years. As a result, the process of completing the company’s audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2019, is still ongoing and will extend beyond the previously advised date of October 31, 2019,” said the firm in a renewed cautionary.

The company’s shares remain suspended.

They were suspended earlier in August after the firm had missed three deadlines to publish its financial results, including two extensions.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) had previously given Hippo Valley leeway to publish its financial results by July 31, 2019, from the initial publication deadline of June 30, 2019.

And in July Hippo requested a second extension to August 14, 2019, which the local bourse granted.

Under the new ZSE listing requirements, introduced in June under Statutory Instrument 134 of 2019, Hippo Valley is now liable to a penalty fine of $5 000 for late submission of audited annual accounts.

Further extension

Apparently, Hippo Valley had requested for a further extension to delay the publication of its audited financial statements to October 31, 2019, but the ZSE refused to grant that extension.

Allegations of financial misappropriation against South African-headquartered parent company Tongaat Hullet Limited (THL) had forced Zimbabwean subsidiary, Hippo Valley Estates Limited to postpone publication of its FY2019 results.

The parent company is facing an accounting scandal back in South Africa, which resulted in the suspension of its securities on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in June.

The group’s share was suspended following the JSE’s announcement on May 31 that the company would have to restate its equity by between R3,5 billion and R4,5 billion for its 2018 year.

To this extent, Tongaat Hullet Ltd moved to delay the announcement of its 2019 financial results to October, by which time it is targeting to recommence trading on the South African bourse.

Hippo Valley has now said it expect significant movement mid-November concerning the publication of its long-awaited interims.

“The board will issue a further update to shareholders on or about November 18, 2019, which will include the release date for the annual financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2019 and the date of the annual general meeting for the same period,” said      Hippo.