Chief Financial Officer’s report

Exceptional items and adjustments

Exceptional losses for the year of R73 million relate mainly to property, plant and equipment and loan impairments, fair value adjustment to the value of a previously held interest in an associate and transaction and retrenchment costs on the restructure of various departments in the business offset by a lease termination recovery. Exceptional losses for the prior year of R19 million relate mainly to goodwill, property, plant and equipment and loan impairments, hotel pre-opening costs, and transaction and restructure costs offset by the settlement fees on termination of the Dubai hotel management contracts.

Net finance costs

Net finance costs of R373 million are 3% below the prior year due to lower average SA debt balances and reduced preference share interest than the prior year offset by reduced average SA cash balances and increased offshore debt at lower interest rates.

Share of profits of associates and joint ventures

The group’s share of associate and joint venture profits reflected a R6 million decrease due to the acquisition of a cinema business during the year which was equity accounted in the prior year and adverse trading at Maia, Seychelles.

Taxation

The effective tax rate for the year at 28.2% is affected by non-deductible expenditure such as casino building depreciation offset by the tax holiday at Southern Sun Ikoyi and non-taxable foreign exchange gains. The comparative effective tax rate of 28.6% is due to the non-deductible expenditure referred to above in addition to preference share dividends.

Non-controlling interests

Profit attributable to non-controlling interests of R96 million is 23% below the prior year mainly due to the acquisition of the 10% of Suncoast offset by the Southern Sun Ikoyi non-controlling interests.

Earnings

Group adjusted headline earnings for the year ended 31 March 2014 at R1.9 billion are 18% above the prior year. The number of shares in issue is largely unchanged year-on-year and thus adjusted headline earnings per share increased by 18% to 176.5 cents per share.

Cash flow

  31 March   31 March    
  2014   2013   % change  
Rm   Rm   on 2013  
Cash generated from operations   3 764   3 806   (1) 
Dividends received   3   3    
Net interest paid   (376)  (399)   
Income tax paid   (756)  (842)   
Operating equipment   (41)  (57)   
Maintenance capital expenditure   (769)  (579)   
Free cash flow   1 825   1 932   (6) 
Dividends paid   (897)  (744)   
Investment activities   (1 643)  (639)   
Other   53   55    
(Increase)/decrease in net interest-bearing debt   (662)  604  

 

Cash generated from operations for the year reduced 1% on the prior year at R3.8 billion impacted by an increase in the settlement of long-term incentives. Free cash for the year decreased by 6% to R1.8 billion due mainly to increased maintenance capital expenditure including gaming system changes and major hotel refurbishments. Cash flows utilised for investment activities of R1.6 billion consisted of the acquisitions and investments described under the inorganic growth section here.

Dividends

A final gross cash dividend of 60.0 cents per share in respect of the company’s 2014 year end was declared and the dividend was paid on 17 June 2014. There were no STC credits. The number of ordinary shares in issue was 1 098 158 501 (excluding treasury shares). The dividend was subject to a local dividend withholding tax rate of 15% which resulted in a net dividend of 51.0 cents per share to those shareholders who were not exempt from paying dividend tax. The company’s tax reference number is 9250039717.

The total dividends declared in respect of the 2014 financial year amounted to 89.0 cents per share which is 19% up on the 75.0 cents per share declared in respect of the 2013 financial year and which equates to 50% of fully diluted adjusted HEPS.

Subsequent events

There are no matters or circumstances arising since 31 March 2014, not otherwise dealt with in the financial statements, that would materially affect the operations or results of the group.

Looking ahead

Trading is expected to remain under pressure due to the macro-economic environment and weak consumer sentiment. Post-year end, the group entered into a share buy-back and a number of acquisitions detailed in the inorganic growth section here which will significantly increase the group’s gearing as detailed in the financial strength and durability section here.


RB Huddy
Chief Financial Officer

29 August 2014