Your directors have pleasure in presenting their report together with the financial statements of the company and of the group for the year ended 31 August 2000.

NATURE OF BUSINESS
The company is incorporated in South Africa and is an investment holding company. Its trading subsidiaries are engaged in discount retailing of toiletries, cosmetics, gifts, recorded music and other merchandise on a cash basis in southern Africa and in Australia. In addition the company is the sole shareholder in property owning subsidiaries.

SHARE CAPITAL
During the year under review the following changes to the issued share capital took place ;

1. On 21 December 1999 the issued share capital was increased by the issue of 1 403 967 ordinary shares of 1 cent each at a premium of 1 081 cents per share awarded as capitalisation shares in lieu of the 1999 final cash dividend.

2. On 8 June 2000 the issued share capital was increased by the issue of 1 422 760 ordinary shares of 1 cent each at a premium of 970 cents per share awarded as capitalisation shares in lieu of the interim cash dividend.

GROUP FINANCIAL RESULTS
The financial results of the group for the year ended 31 August 2000 were as follows:

 
2000
R '000
1999
R'000
Turnover
3 997 525
3 394 426
Profit before tax
229 270
170 621
Tax
69 049
52 511
Profit attributable to ordinary shareholders
160 221
118 110

GEOGRAPHICAL SEGMENT ANALYSIS

 
Turnover
 
2000
1999
 
%
%
Southern Africa
76.1
77.5
Australia
23.9
22.5
 
100.0
100.0
 
Profit before tax
 
2000
1999
 
%
%
Southern Africa
89.6
86.6
Australia
10.4
13.4
 
100.0
100.0
 

DISTRIBUTION TO SHAREHOLDERS
A final capitalisation award, with a cash dividend alternative of 10,4 cents per share, has been declared in lieu of a final cash dividend. The award of the capitalisation shares will be determined by the ratio that 10,4 cents multiplied by 1,05 bears to the weighted average trading price of the ordinary shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange for the four business days ending on 7 December 2000.

DIRECTORS AND SECRETARY
The names of the directors and secretary in office at the date of this report are set out on page 30.

During the year Ms L.A. Swartz and Mr D.J. Danziger resigned as directors.

In terms of the company's articles of association, Messrs. P.W.G. Green and E. Osrin retire at the forthcoming annual general meeting and being eligible, offer themselves for re-election.

DIRECTORS' INTERESTS
As at 31 August 2000 the interest of the directors in the issued share capital of the company was as follows:

 
2000
%
1999
%
     
Beneficially held
0.6
1.3

Trusts controlled by the executive directors will acquire shares resulting from the conversion, on a one-to-one basis, of 6,5 million compulsorily convertible debentures on 18 March 2001.

There were no material changes between 31 August 2000 and the date of this report.

SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES
The names of the company's main subsidiaries and financial information relating thereto appear on page 52. The interest of the company in the aggregate profit after taxation of its subsidiaries is R160,207 million (1999 - R117,957 million).