Accounting policies

The consolidated and separate financial statements (financial statements) have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the interpretations adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board, the SAICA Financial Reporting Guides as issued by the Accounting Practices Committee and Financial Reporting Pronouncements as issued by Financial Reporting Standards Council and in terms of the requirements of the Companies Act of South Africa.

1. Basis of preparation

The financial statements are prepared on the historical cost basis except that derivative financial instruments, financial instruments held-for-trading and financial instruments classified as available-for-sale are stated at their fair value.

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with IFRS requires management to make judgements, estimates and assumptions that affect the application of policies and reported amounts of assets and liabilities, income and expenses. Although estimates and associated assumptions are based on historical experience and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances (the results of which form the basis of making the judgements about carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources), the actual outcome may differ from these estimates.

The estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised, if the revision affects only that period, or in the period of the revision and future periods if the revision affects both current and future periods.

Judgements made in the application of IFRS that have had an effect on the financial statements and estimates with a risk of adjustment in the next year are discussed in note 38.

The accounting policies have been applied consistently to all periods presented in these financial statements. The financial statements are presented in South African rand, which is the Group’s functional currency. All financial information has been rounded to the nearest thousand unless stated otherwise.

2. New and revised accounting standards

There were no changes to the Group’s accounting policies during the year with the exception of the adoption of the amendments to IAS 1 which requires the Group to present items in the statement of other comprehensive income based on whether they may be reclassified to profit or loss in the future. Details of new standards and interpretations that apply to the Group are contained in note 41 to the financial statements.

3. Basis of consolidation

The consolidated financial statements include the financial statements of the company and its subsidiaries. Subsidiaries are entities controlled by the company. Control exists when the company has the power, directly or indirectly, to govern the financial and operating policies of an entity so as to obtain benefits from its activities. In assessing control, potential voting rights that presently are exercisable or convertible are taken into account. Operating results of businesses acquired or disposed of during the year are included from or to the effective date of acquisition or disposal, being the date that control commences until the date control ceases. The assets and liabilities of companies acquired are assessed and included in the statement of financial position at their estimated fair values to the Group at acquisition date.

Any increases and decreases in ownership interests in subsidiaries without a change in control are recognised as equity transactions in the Group financial statements. Accordingly, any premiums or discounts on subsequent purchases of equity instruments from, or sales of equity instruments to non controlling shareholders are recognised directly in the equity of the Group.

Transaction costs that the Group incurs with respect to an acquisition of a business are expensed as incurred.

Inter-group transactions and balances are eliminated on consolidation. Unrealised gains arising from transactions with jointly controlled entities and equity-accounted associates are eliminated to the extent of the Group’s interest in the entity. Unrealised losses are eliminated in the same way as unrealised gains, but only to the extent that there is no evidence of impairment.

The company carries its investments in subsidiaries at cost less accumulated impairment losses

4. Revenue

Revenue comprises amounts invoiced to customers for goods and services and includes finance charges, insurance premiums, gross billings, and commissions related to clearing and forwarding transactions and excludes value added tax. Revenue is net of returns and allowances, trade discounts and volume rebates.

5. Revenue recognition

The sale of goods is recognised when significant risks and rewards of ownership of the goods are transferred to the buyer, recovery of the consideration is considered probable, the associated costs and possible return of goods can be estimated reliably, and there is no continuing management involvement with the goods.

Revenue from services rendered is recognised in the income statement in proportion to the stage of completion of the transaction at the statement of financial position date. The stage of completion is assessed by reference to the terms of the contracts.

Revenue relating to banking activities consists primarily of margins earned on the purchase and sale of foreign exchange products and general commissions and transaction fees and is recognised when the services are provided. Net profits and losses on the revaluation of foreign currency denominated assets and liabilities are also included in revenue.

In the event that a profit or loss arises from full maintenance motor contracts, it is recognised on termination of individual contracts after taking cognisance of any additional costs required. Provision is made for known losses during the contract period on an individual contract basis.

Insurance premiums are stated before deducting reinsurance and commission.

Finance income comprises interest receivable on funds invested.

Interest is recognised on an accrual basis, taking account of the principal outstanding and the effective rate over the period to maturity, when it is determined that such income will accrue to the Group.

Dividends are recognised when the right to receive payment is established.

6. Non-current assets held-for-sale and discontinued operations

Non-current assets (or disposal groups comprising assets and liabilities) that are expected to be recovered primarily through sale rather than through continuing use are classified as held-for-sale and are carried at the lower of carrying value and fair value less cost to sell. Immediately before classification as assets held-for-sale, the measurement of the assets (and all assets and liabilities in a disposal group) is determined in accordance with applicable IFRS. Then, on initial classification as assets held-for-sale, non-current assets and disposal groups are recognised at the lower of the carrying amounts and fair value less costs to sell. Any impairment loss on a disposal group is first allocated to goodwill, and then to remaining assets and liabilities on a pro rata basis, except that no loss is allocated to inventories, financial assets, deferred tax assets, and employee benefit assets, which continue to be measured in accordance with the Group’s accounting policies. Impairment losses on initial classification as held-for-sale and subsequent gains or losses on remeasurement are recognised in the income statement. Gains are not recognised in excess of any cumulative impairment loss.

A discontinued operation results from the sale or abandonment of an operation that represents a separate major line of business or geographical area of operations and of which the assets, net profit or loss and activities can be distinguished physically, operationally and for financial reporting purposes. A subsidiary acquired exclusively with the view to resell is also classified as a discontinued operation. Classification as a discontinued operation occurs upon disposal or when the operation meets the criteria to be classified as held-for-sale, if earlier. When an operation is classified as a discontinued operation, the comparative income statement is restated as if the operation had been discontinued from the start of the comparative period

7. Distributions to shareholders

Distributions to shareholders are accounted for once they have been approved by the board of directors.

8. Finance income and charges

Finance charges comprise interest payable on borrowings calculated using the effective interest rate method. The interest expense component of finance lease payments is recognised in the income statement using the effective interest rate method.

9. Capitalisation of expenditure/borrowing costs

Borrowing costs directly attributable to the acquisition, construction or production of assets that necessarily take a substantial period of time to prepare for their intended use or sale, are added to the cost of those assets, until such time as the assets are substantially complete. Capitalisation is suspended during extended periods in which active development is interrupted. All other borrowing costs are expensed in the period in which they are incurred.

10. Cash and cash equivalents

For the purpose of the statement of cash flows, cash and cash equivalents comprise cash on hand, deposits held on call with banks net of bank overdrafts, investment in money market instruments and variable rate cumulative redeemable preference shares, all of which are available for use by the Group unless otherwise stated.

11. Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment are reflected at cost to the Group, less accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses. Land is stated at cost. The present value of the estimated cost of dismantling and removing items and restoring the site in which they are located is provided for as part of the cost of the asset. Depreciation is provided for on the straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the property, plant and equipment which are as follows:

Buildings Up to 50 years
Leasehold premises Over the period of the lease
Plant and equipment 5 to 20 years
Office equipment, furniture and fittings 3 to 15 years
Vehicles and craft 3 to 10 years
Vessels 28 to 55 years
Rental assets 3 to 5 years
Capitalised leased assets The same basis as owned assets

Residual values, depreciation method and useful lives are reassessed annually.

Where parts of an item of property, plant and equipment have different useful lives, they are accounted for as separate items of property, plant and equipment.

The Group recognises in the carrying amount of an item of property, plant and equipment the cost of replacing part of such an item when that cost is incurred if it is probable that the future economic benefits embodied in the item will flow to the Group and the cost of the item can be measured reliably. All other costs are recognised in the income statement as an expense when incurred.

12. Leases

Leases that transfer substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership of the underlying asset to the Group are classified as finance leases. Assets acquired in terms of finance leases are capitalised at the lower of fair value and the present value of the minimum lease payments at inception of the lease, and depreciated over the estimated useful life of the asset. The capital element of future obligations under the leases is included as a liability in the balance sheet. Lease payments are allocated using the effective interest rate method to determine the lease finance cost, which is charged against income over the lease period, and the capital repayment, which reduces the liability to the lessor.

Leases where the lessor retains the risks and rewards of ownership of the underlying asset are classified as operating leases. Operating leases, which have a fixed determinable escalation, are charged against income on a straight-line basis. Leases with contingent escalations are expensed as and when incurred.

13. Goodwill

Goodwill represents amounts arising on acquisition of subsidiaries. All business combinations are accounted for by applying the purchase method. In respect of business acquisitions that have occurred since March 31 2004, goodwill represents the difference between the cost of the acquisition and the fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities acquired.

Goodwill is stated at deemed cost or cost less any accumulated impairment losses. Goodwill is allocated to cash-generating units and is tested annually for impairment.

Negative goodwill arising on an acquisition is recognised immediately in the income statement.

14. Intangible assets

Software development costs are capitalised and are stated at cost less accumulated amortisation and accumulated impairment losses.

Other intangible assets that are acquired by the Group are stated at cost less accumulated amortisation and accumulated impairment losses.

Expenditure on research, internally generated goodwill and brands is recognised in the income statement as an expense as incurred.

Subsequent expenditure on capitalised intangible assets is capitalised only when it increases the future economic benefits embodied in the specific asset to which it relates. All other expenditure is expensed as incurred.

Amortisation is charged to the income statement on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of intangible assets unless such lives are indefinite. Intangible assets with an indefinite useful life are systematically tested for impairment at each statement of financial position date. Other intangible assets are amortised from the date they are available for use. The estimated useful lives are currently:

Patents, trademarks, tradenames and other intangibles 3 to 12 years
Computer software 3 to 8 years

Useful lives are also examined on an annual basis and adjustments, where applicable, are made on a prospective basis.

15. Impairment of assets

The carrying value of assets is reviewed annually to assess whether there is any indication of impairment. If any such indication exists, the recoverable amount of the asset is estimated. Where the carrying value exceeds the estimated recoverable amount, such assets are written down to their recoverable amount.

The recoverable amount of cash-generating units to which goodwill is allocated is estimated annually on March 31 each year. For assets that have an indefinite useful life and intangible assets that are not yet available for use, the recoverable amount is estimated at each statement of financial position date.

Impairment losses are recognised whenever the carrying amount of the asset or a cash-generating unit exceeds its recoverable amount. Impairment losses are recognised in the income statement.

Impairment losses recognised in respect of cash-generating units are allocated first to reduce the carrying amount of any goodwill allocated to cash-generating units and then to reduce the carrying amount of the other assets in the unit on a pro rata basis.

A cash-generating unit is the smallest identifiable asset group that generates cash flows that are largely independent from other assets and groups.

Financial assets are impaired where there is objective evidence that, as a result of one or more events that occurred after the initial recognition of the financial asset, the estimated future cash flows of the investment have been impacted.

An impairment loss in respect of an available-for-sale financial asset is calculated by reference to its current fair value. For unlisted shares classified as available-for-sale, a significant or prolonged decline in the fair value of the security below its cost is considered to be objective evidence of impairment.

For all other financial assets, objective evidence of impairment could include:

significant financial difficulty of the counterparty; or
default in interest or principal payments; or
it becoming probable that the counterparty will enter bankruptcy or financial reorganisation.

When a decline in the fair value of an available-for-sale financial asset has been recognised directly in equity and there is objective evidence that the asset is impaired, the cumulative loss that had been recognised directly in equity is recognised in the income statement even though the financial asset has not been derecognised. The amount of the cumulative loss that is recognised in the income statement is the difference between the acquisition cost and current fair value, less any impairment loss on that financial asset previously recognised in the income statement.

The recoverable amount of the Group’s investments in held-to-maturity securities and receivables carried at amortised cost is calculated as the present value of estimated future cash flows, discounted at the original effective interest rate (the effective interest rate is computed on initial recognition of these financial assets). Receivables with a short duration are not discounted. Individually significant financial assets are tested for impairment on an individual basis. The remaining financial assets are assessed collectively in groups that share similar credit risk characteristics.

In respect of trade receivables, receivables that are assessed not to be impaired individually are subsequently assessed for impairment on a collective basis. Objective evidence of impairment for a portfolio of receivables could include the Group’s past experience of collecting payments, an increase in the number of delayed payments in the portfolio past the average credit period, as well as observable changes in national or local economic conditions that correlate with default on receivables.

The recoverable amount of other assets is the greater of their fair value less costs to sell and their value in use. In assessing their value in use, the estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and the risks specific to the asset.

An impairment loss in respect of a held-to-maturity security or receivable carried at amortised cost is reversed if the subsequent increase in the recoverable amount can be related objectively to an event occurring after the impairment loss was recognised.

An impairment loss in respect of an investment in an equity instrument classified as available-for-sale is not reversed through the income statement. If the fair value of a debt instrument classified as available-for-sale increases and the increase can be objectively related to an event occurring after the impairment loss was recognised in the income statement, the impairment loss is reversed, with the amount of the reversal recognised in the income statement.

The carrying amount of the financial asset is reduced by the impairment loss directly for all financial assets with the exception of trade receivables and banking advances, where the carrying amount is reduced through the use of an impairment allowance account. When a trade receivable or banking advance is considered uncollectible, it is written off against the impairment allowance account. Subsequent recoveries of amounts previously written off are credited against the allowance account. Changes in the carrying amount of the impairment allowance account are recognised in the income statement.

Impairment losses in respect of goodwill are not reversed.

In respect of other assets, impairment losses recognised in prior periods are assessed at each reporting date for any indications thatthe loss has decreased or no longer exists. Impairment losses are reversed if there has been a change in the estimates used to determine the recoverable amount.

Impairment losses are reversed only to the extent that the asset’s carrying amount does not exceed the carrying amount that would have been determined, net of depreciation or amortisation, if no impairment loss had been recognised.

16. Taxation

Income taxation comprises current and deferred tax. Income tax expense is recognised in profit or loss except to the extent that it relates to items recognised directly in equity, in which case it is recognised in equity.

Current taxation comprises tax payable calculated on the basis of the expected taxable income for the year, using the tax rates enacted or substantially enacted at the balance sheet date, and any adjustment of tax payable for previous years.

Deferred taxation is recognised using the balance sheet liability method based on temporary differences between the tax base of an asset or liability and its balance sheet carrying amount. Temporary differences are differences between the carrying amount of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and their tax base. The amount of deferred tax provided is based on the expected manner of realisation or settlement of the carrying amount of assets and liabilities using tax rates enacted or substantively enacted at the statement of financial position date. The following temporary differences are not provided for: initial recognition of goodwill; the initial recognition of assets or liabilities in a transaction that are not business combinations and that affect neither accounting nor taxable profit; and differences relating to investments in subsidiaries to the extent that they will probably not reverse in the foreseeable future. Deferred taxation is charged to the income statement except to the extent that it relates to a transaction that is recognised directly in equity, or a business combination that is an acquisition. The effects on deferred taxation of any changes in tax rates are
recognised in the income statement, except to the extent that they relate to items previously charged or credited directly to equity.

A deferred taxation asset is recognised to the extent that it is probable that future taxable profits will be available against which the associated unused tax losses and deductible temporary differences can be utilised. Deferred tax assets are reviewed at each reporting date and are reduced to the extent that it is no longer probable that the related tax benefit will be realised.

17. Associates

An associate is a company which the Group has the ability to exercise significant influence, but not control, over its financial and operating policies.

The equity method of accounting for associates is adopted in the Group financial statements. In applying the equity method, account is taken of the Group’s share of accumulated retained earnings and movements in reserves from the effective dates on which the companies became associates and up to the effective dates of disposal. In the event of associates making losses, the Group recognises the losses to the extent of the Group’s exposure.

The company carries its investment in associates at cost less any accumulated impairment losses.

18. Foreign operations

Assets and liabilities of foreign operations, including goodwill and fair value adjustments arising on consolidation, are translated into South African rand at rates of exchange ruling at the statement of financial position date. Income, expenditure and cash flow items are translated into South African rand at rates approximating to the foreign exchange rates ruling at the dates of the transactions. Since July 1 2004, the Group’s date of transition to IFRS, foreign exchange differences arising on translation are recognised directly in equity as a foreign currency translation reserve. When a foreign operation is disposed of, in part or in full, the relevant amount in the foreign
currency translation reserve is transferred to the income statement.

The revenues and expenses of foreign operations in hyperinflationary economies are translated to South African rand at the foreign exchange rates ruling at the statement of financial position date. Foreign exchange differences arising on retranslation are recognised directly in a separate component of equity.

Acquisitions and disposals of foreign operations are accounted for at the rate ruling on the date of the transaction.

19. Financial instruments

Financial instruments are recognised when the Group or company becomes party to the contractual provisions of the arrangement.

Financial instruments are initially measured at fair value plus, for instruments not carried at fair value through profit and loss, any directly attributable transaction costs.

An instrument is classified as at fair value through profit or loss if it is held-for-trading, is a derivative or is designated as such upon initial recognition.

A financial asset is classified as held-for-trading if it has been acquired principally for the purpose of selling in the near future or it has been part of an identified portfolio of financial instruments that the Group manages together and has a recent actual pattern of short-term profit-making.

Financial instruments at fair value through profit or loss are measured at fair value, with any resultant gain or loss being recognised in the income statement. The gain or loss recognised in the income statement excludes the interest and dividends earned on the financial asset, which are separately disclosed as such in the income statement. Held-for-trading financial instruments are measured at amortised cost if their fair value cannot be determined.

Financial instruments classified as available-for-sale financial assets are carried at fair value with any resultant gain or loss, other than impairment losses and foreign exchange gains and losses on monetary items, being recognised directly in equity. When these investments are derecognised, the cumulative gain or loss previously recognised directly in equity is recognised in profit or loss. Where these investments are interest bearing, interest calculated using the effective interest rate method is recognised in profit or loss.

Listed government bonds held in terms of statutory requirements are accounted for as available-for-sale financial assets.

If the Group has the positive intent and ability to hold debt securities to maturity, then they are classified as held-to-maturity. Investments that meet the criteria for classification as held-to-maturity financial assets are carried at amortised cost.

Where the instrument is not classified as one of the above, it is carried at amortised cost.

Listed and unlisted investments are classified as investments at fair value through profit or loss or available-for-sale financial assets. Fair value of listed investments is calculated by reference to stock exchange quoted selling prices at the close of business on the statement of financial position date. Fair value of unlisted investments is determined by using appropriate valuation models.

Trade and other receivables originated by the Group or company are stated at amortised cost less an allowance for impairment losses.

Cash and cash equivalents are measured at fair value, based on the relevant exchange rates at statement of financial position date.

Financial liabilities other than derivatives are recognised at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method.

Derivative instruments are measured at fair value through profit and loss.

Where a derivative financial instrument is used to economically hedge the foreign exchange exposure of a recognised financial asset or liability, no hedge accounting is applied and any gain or loss on the hedging instrument is recognised in the income statement. It is the policy of the Group not to trade in derivative financial instruments for speculative purposes.

Gains or losses arising from measuring the hedging instruments relating to a fair value hedge at fair value are recognised in the income statement. The hedged item is also stated at fair value in respect of the risk being hedged, with any gains or losses recognised in the income statement.

Where a derivative is designated as a cash flow hedge, the effective part of the gains or losses from remeasuring the hedging instruments to fair value are initially recognised directly in equity. If the hedged firm commitment or forecast transaction results in the recognition of a non-financial asset or liability, the cumulative amount recognised in equity up to the transaction date is adjusted against the initial measurement of the non-financial asset or liability. The ineffective part of any gain or loss is recognised in the income statement immediately. For other cash flow hedges, the cumulative amount recognised in equity is included in net profit or loss in the period when the commitment or forecast transaction affects profit or loss.

Where the hedging instrument or hedge relationship is terminated but the hedged transaction is still expected to occur, the cumulative unrealised gain or loss at that point remains in equity and is recognised in accordance with the aforementioned policy when the transaction occurs. If the hedged transaction is no longer expected to occur, the cumulative unrealised gain or loss is recognised in the income statement immediately.

A financial asset is derecognised (or, where applicable, a part of a financial asset or a part of a group of similar financial assets is derecognised) if the Group’s contractual rights to the cash flows from the financial asset expire or if the Group transfers the financial assets to another party without retaining control or substantially all risks and rewards of the asset.

Where the Group has transferred its right to receive cash flows from an asset and has neither transferred nor retained substantially all the risks and rewards of the asset nor transferred control of the asset, the asset is recognised to the extent of the Group’s continuing involvement in the asset. Continuing involvement that takes the form of a guarantee over the transferred asset is measured at the lower of the original carrying amount of the asset and the maximum amount of consideration that the Group could be required to repay.

A financial liability is derecognised when the obligation under the liability is discharged, cancelled or expires. Where an existing liability is replaced by another from the same lender on substantially different terms, or the terms of an existing liability are substantially modified, such an exchange or modification is treated as a derecognition of the original liability and a recognition of a new liability, and the difference in the respective carrying amounts is recognised in profit and loss.

Financial assets and financial liabilities are offset and the net amount reported in the statement of financial position when the company has a legally enforceable right to set off the recognised amounts, and intends either to settle on a net basis, or to realise the asset and settle the liability simultaneously.

Financial instruments have been grouped into classes for the purpose of financial instrument risk disclosure. The classes are the segments as disclosed in the
segmental report as the operations within each segment have similar types of risks.

20. Banking advances

Advances are stated at amortised cost after the deduction of amounts that, in the opinion of the directors, are required as specific and general impairments. Specific impairments are raised for doubtful advances, including amounts in respect of interest not being serviced and after taking security values into account, and are deducted from advances where the outstanding balance exceeds the value of the security held. A general impairment based on historic experience is raised to cover doubtful advances, which may not be specifically identified at the statement of financial position date. The specific and general impairments made during the year are charged to the income statement.

21. Vehicle rental fleet

Vehicle rental fleet is stated at cost less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation is provided on a straight-line basis to write off the cost of the vehicles to their residual value over their estimated useful lives of between nine and 12 months.

22. Inventories

Inventories are stated at the lower of cost and estimated net realisable value. Estimated net realisable value is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business, less the estimated costs of completion and selling expenses. The cost of raw materials, finished goods, parts and accessories is determined on either the first-in, first-out or average cost basis. The cost of manufactured inventory and work in progress includes materials and parts, direct labour, other direct costs and includes an appropriate portion of overheads, but excludes interest expense.

Vehicles and vehicle parts purchased in terms of manufacturers’ standard franchise agreements or floorplan facilities are recognised as assets when received as this is when significant risks and rewards have been transferred. This policy is applied irrespective of the fact that certain agreements provide that the legal ownership of this inventory shall remain with the supplier or floorplan provider until the purchase price has been paid.

23. Treasury shares

Shares in the company, held by its subsidiary and The Bidvest Incentive Scheme are classified in the Group’s shareholders’ interest as treasury shares. These shares are treated as a deduction from the issued and weighted average number of shares. The cost price of the shares is presented as a deduction from total equity. Distributions received on treasury shares are eliminated on consolidation.

24. Foreign currencies

Transactions in foreign currencies are translated at the rates of exchange ruling at the transaction date. Monetary assets and liabilities in foreign currencies are translated at the rates of exchange ruling at the statement of financial position date. Translation differences are recognised in the income statement.

25. Share-based payments

The Bidvest Incentive Scheme grants options to acquire shares in the company to executive directors and staff. The fair value of options granted is recognised as an employee expense with a corresponding increase in equity. The fair value is measured at grant date and spread over the period during which the employees become unconditionally entitled to the options. The fair value of the options is measured using a binomial model, taking into account the terms and conditions upon which the options were granted. The amount recognised as an expense is adjusted to reflect the actual number of share options that vest except where staff are unable to
meet the scheme’s employment requirements.

The Bidvest Incentive Scheme grants loans to staff for the acquisition of shares in the company. The fair value of services received in return for shares allotted is measured based on a binomial model taking into account the expected contractual life of the loan obligation.

In terms of the conditional share plan scheme, a conditional right to a share is awarded to employees subject to performance and vesting conditions. The fair value of services received in return for the conditional share awards has been determined by multiplying the number of conditional share awards expected to vest by the share price at the date of the award less discounted by anticipated future distribution flows.

26. Employee benefits

Leave benefits due to employees are recognised as a liability in the financial statements.

The Group’s liability for post-retirement benefits, accruing to past and current employees in terms of defined benefit schemes, is actuarially calculated. Where the plan is funded, the obligation is reduced by the fair value of the plan assets. Unfunded obligations are recognised as a liability in the financial statements.

The Group’s obligation for post-retirement medical aid to past and current employees is actuarially determined and provided for in full.

The projected unit credit method is used to determine the present value of the defined benefit obligations and the related current service cost and, where applicable, past service cost.

Actuarial gains or losses in respect of defined benefit plans are recognised in the income statement if the net cumulative unrecognised actuarial gains and losses at the end of the previous reporting period exceed the greater of:

10% of the present value of the defined benefit obligation at that date, before deducting plan assets; or
10% of the fair value of any plan assets at that date.

However, when the actuarial calculation results in a benefit to the Group, the recognised asset is limited to the net total of any unrecognised past service costs and the present value of any future refunds from the plan or reductions in future contributions to the plan.

The amount recognised is the excess in terms of the aforementioned formula, divided by the expected average remaining working lives of the employees participating in that plan.

Past service costs are recognised as an expense on a straight-line basis over the average period until the benefits become vested. To the extent that the benefits have vested, past service costs are recognised immediately.

Liabilities for employee benefits which are not expected to be settled within 12 months are discounted using the market yields at the statement of financial position date on high-quality bonds with terms that most closely match the terms of maturity of the related liabilities.

Contributions to defined contribution pension plans are recognised as an expense in the income statement as incurred.

27. Short-term insurance

Insurance contracts are those contracts under which the Group (as insurer) accepts significant insurance risk from another party (the policyholder) by agreeing to compensate the policyholder or other beneficiary if a specified uncertain future event (the insured event) adversely affects them. Short-term insurance is provided in terms of benefits under short-term policies which cover motor, property and warranty.

Premiums are earned from the date the risk attaches, over the indemnity period, based on the pattern of the risk underwritten. Unearned premiums, which represent the proportion of premiums written in the current year which relate to risks that have not expired by the end of the financial year, are calculated on a time proportionate basis.

Receipts and payments under investment contracts are not classified as insurance transactions in the income statement but instead are deposit accounted in the statement of financial position in accordance with IAS 39. The deposits liability recognised in the statement of financial position represents the expected amounts payable to the holders of the insurance contract. Claims incurred consist of claims paid during the financial year, together with the movement in the provision for outstanding claims and are charged to income as incurred. The provision for outstanding claims comprise the Group’s estimate of the undiscounted ultimate cost of settling all claims incurred but unpaid at statement of financial position date, whether reported or not. Related anticipated reinsurance recoveries are disclosed separately as assets.

Premiums are earned from the date the risk attaches, over the indemnity period, based on the pattern of the risk underwritten. Unearned premiums, which represent the proportion of premiums written in the current year which relate to risks that have not expired by the end of the financial year, are calculated on a time proportionate basis. Deferred acquisition costs are recognised on a basis consistent with the related provisions for earned premiums. A provision for claims arising from events that occurred before the close of the accounting period, but which have not been reported to the Group by that date, is maintained. The calculation is based on the preceding six years’ insurance premium revenue per insurance category multiplied by percentages as specified in the Short Term Insurance Act.

28. Life assurance

Insurance contracts are those contracts under which the Group (as insurer) accepts significant insurance risk from another party (the policyholder) by agreeing to compensate the policyholder or other beneficiary if a specified uncertain future event (the insured event) adversely affects them. Life assurance benefits are provided in terms of individual credit life contracts. These contracts are decreasing term assurance, designed to pay outstanding loans provided by finance houses to purchasers of motor vehicles. The outstanding loan is settled (subject to certain limits) following death or disability of the contract holder. In addition, there are dread disease, retrenchment and funeral benefits. Policyholder liabilities under insurance contracts, representing the liability in respect of unmatured policies, are valued in terms of the Financial Soundness Valuation (FSV) basis contained in PGN104.

Receipts and payments under investment contracts are not classified as insurance transactions in the income statement but instead are deposit accounted in the statement of financial position in accordance with IAS 39. The deposits liability recognised in the statement of financial position represents the expected amounts payable to the holders of the insurance contract. Claims expenses are charged to the income statement as incurred based on the liability in terms of the policy at the date of the claim.

Contracts entered into by the Group with reinsurers under which the Group is compensated for losses on one or more contracts issued by the Group are classified as reinsurance contracts held. The benefits to which the Group is entitled under its reinsurance contracts are recognised as reinsurance assets. These consist of short-term balances due to/from reinsurers, as well as longer-term receivables (classified as reinsurance assets) that are dependent on the expected claims and benefits arising under the related insurance contracts. Amounts recoverable from/due to reinsurers are measured consistently with the amounts associated with the insurance contracts and in accordance with the terms of each contract. Reinsurance liabilities are primarily premiums payable and are recognised as an expense when due. The Group assesses its reinsurance assets for impairment on an annual basis. If there is objective evidence that the reinsurance asset is impaired, the Group reduces the carrying amount of the reinsurance asset to its recoverable amount and recognises the impairment loss in the income statement. The Group gathers the objective evidence that a reinsurance asset is impaired using the same basis adopted for financial assets held at amortised cost.

29. Provisions

Provisions are recognised when the Group has a legal or constructive obligation as a result of past events, for which it is probable that an outflow of economic benefits will occur, and where a reliable estimate can be made of the amount of the obligation. Where the effect of discounting is material, provisions are discounted. The discount rate used is a pre-tax rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and, where appropriate, the risks specific to the liability.

A provision for restructuring is recognised when the Group has approved a detailed and formal restructuring plan and the restructuring has either commenced or has been announced publicly. Future operating costs are not provided for.

The Group recognises a provision calculated as the present value of the estimated cost of dismantling and removing items and restoring the site in which they are located when the legal or constructive obligation arises or when the damage to the site occurs.

A provision for onerous contracts is recognised when the expected benefits to be derived by the Group from a contract are lower than the unavoidable cost of meeting its obligations under the contract. The provision is measured at the present value of the lower of the expected cost of terminating the contract and the expected net costs of continuing the contract. Before a provision is established, the Group recognises any impairment loss on the assets associated with that contract.

Customer loyalty points are accounted for at fair value of the consideration received or receivable in respect of the initial sale, and are allocated between the loyalty points and the other components of the sale. The consideration allocated to the customer loyalty points is measured by reference to their fair value, which is the amount for which the loyalty points could be sold at, multiplied by the probability of their redemption. This amount is recognised as a provision until such time as the customer loyalty points are redeemed. Once the loyalty points are redeemed, the amount will be recognised as revenue.

30. Segmental reporting

The reportable segments of the Group have been identified based on the nature of the businesses. This basis is representative of the internal structure for management purposes. Information is also supplied for the various geographies in which the Group operates.

Segmental operating profit includes revenue and expenses directly relating to a business segment but excludes net finance charges and taxation which cannot be allocated to any specific segment. Share-based payment costs are also excluded from the result as this is not a criteria used in the management of the reportable segments.

Segmental trading profit is defined as operating profit excluding items of a capital nature and is the basis on which management’s performance is assessed.

Segment operating assets and liabilities include property, plant and equipment, investments, inventories, trade and other receivables, trade and other payables, banking assets and liabilities, insurance funds and post-retirement obligations but exclude cash, borrowings, current taxation and deferred taxation. Intangible assets are allocated to the cash-generating unit in the segment to which they relate.

 
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