Naspers Limited – Annual report – 31 March 2020
About this report
This integrated annual report assesses our performance for the financial year ended 31 March 2020. We aim to provide a picture of our progress and impact on society.
How it all fits together
We measure our performance by evaluating how we create value for our key stakeholders, we take account of the six capitals(1), as well as progress against our strategy, and regularly measure returns on invested capital. We understand the risks we take and they manage these to minimise their impact on our business and results.
We pursue growth by building leading companies that empower people and enrich communities.
Naspers has its primary listing on the JSE Limited’s stock exchange (JSE) (NPN.SJ) and a secondary listing on the A2X Exchange (NPN.AJ) in South Africa. It is the largest South African company on the JSE. It also has a level 1 American Depository Receipt (ADR) programme listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: NPSN) and trades on an over-the-counter (OTC) basis in the United States (US). International investors are therefore able to buy and sell Naspers securities through the OTC market on the LSE or JSE (details on page 2) Naspers’s subsidiary, Prosus N.V. (formerly Myriad International Holdings N.V.), is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and also has bonds listed on Euronext Dublin. Prosus also has ADRs which trade on an OTC basis in the US.
Scope and boundary of reporting
Financial and non-financial reporting
This report extends beyond financial reporting. It reflects on non-financial performance, opportunities, risks and outcomes attributable to or associated with key stakeholders who have a significant influence on our ability to create value.
It includes the financial performance of Naspers and its subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates (the group). The scope of reporting on non-financial performance is indicated in this report. Media24, a South African subsidiary, publishes a separate integrated annual report (www.media24.com). Group reporting standards are continually being developed to make disclosure meaningful and measurable for stakeholders. Given the highly competitive environment in which we operate, this report mostly excludes financial targets or forward-looking statements other than as explained on this page.
Where relevant, we have adjusted amounts and percentages for the effects of foreign currency, as well as acquisitions and disposals. Such adjustments (pro forma financial information) are quoted in brackets after the equivalent metrics reported under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Refer to pages 117 to 120 of the summarised consolidated annual financial statements for a reconciliation of these metrics with the equivalent amounts reported under IFRS. Financial commentary and segmental reviews are prepared on an economic-interest basis (which includes consolidated subsidiaries and a proportionate share of associated companies and joint ventures), unless otherwise stated.
The legislation and frameworks that inform our reporting
This integrated annual report was prepared against local and global standards, including:
- Framework of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC): this principles-based approach promotes the concept of the six capitals, which considers material inputs and resources required to create and sustain value in the long term. We describe key components of the Naspers value chain (business model) that creates and sustains value for our stakeholders.
- We support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, like many other businesses, have identified which of those goals our business aligns with. We discuss this alignment and our activities in support of the SDGs in this report.
- South African Companies Act No 71 of 2008, as amended (Companies Act).
- King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa, 2016 (King IVTM)(2).
Materiality and material matters
We apply the principle of materiality in assessing what information to include in our integrated annual report. This report focuses particularly on those issues, opportunities and challenges that impact materially on the group as well as on its ability to be a sustainable business that delivers value to key stakeholders, including our shareholders.
This report contains forward-looking statements as defined in the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 concerning our financial condition, results of operations and businesses. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control and all of which are based on our current beliefs and expectations about future events. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes”, “expects”, “may”, “will”, “could”, should”, “intends”, “estimates”, “plans”, “assumes” or “anticipates”, or the negative thereof, or other variations thereon or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements and other statements contained in this report regarding matters that are not historical facts involve predictions. No assurance can be given that such future results will be achieved. Actual events or results may differ materially as a result of risks and uncertainties facing us and our subsidiaries. Such risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to vary materially from the future results indicated, expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. There are a number of factors that could affect our future operations and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, including (without limitation): (a) changes to IFRS and associated interpretations, applications and practices as they apply to past, present and future periods; (b) ongoing and future acquisitions, changes to domestic and international business and market conditions such as exchange rate and interest rate movements; (c) changes in domestic and international regulatory and legislative environments; (d) changes to domestic and international operational, social, economic and political conditions; (e) labour disruptions and industrial action; and (f) the effects of both current and future litigation. The forward-looking statements contained in the report speak only as of the date of the report. We are not under any obligation to (and expressly disclaim any such obligation to) revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of the report or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. We cannot give any assurance that forward-looking statements will prove correct and investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements.
Financial information extracted from the audited Naspers Limited consolidated annual financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2020 in this report was audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. (PwC) (refer to page 99 for its report). PwC also performed specific procedures on material non-financial information in this report. In addition, PwC performed limited assurance on our scope 1 and scope 2 carbon footprint (refer to page 69). South African broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) information (for Naspers and Media24) was assured by EmpowerLogic.
The group has a combined assurance model for internal use. This model is designed to cover key risks through a combination of assurance service providers and functions as appropriate for Naspers.
An overview of combined assurance per key risk is reported for consideration by the joint audit and risk committees.
The scope for our group internal audit and risk support function includes all controlled assets. The head of internal audit and risk support reports to the audit committee and presents for its approval an objective-driven, risk-based internal audit plan. Where required, external parties, such as forensic specialists or data-analytics experts, support the internal audit function. Other external assurance providers are enlisted as needed. In our more regulated businesses (like PayU), regulatory inspectors visit on an ongoing periodic basis.
The audit committee appoints the external auditor, reviews the auditor’s independence annually and oversees the external audit. The committee makes recommendations to the board and assists the board in ensuring the integrity of external reports.
(1) As identified in the framework of the International Integrated Reporting Council: financial, human, intellectual, manufacturing, social and relationship and natural capitals.
(2) The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa NPC (IoDSA) owns all copyright and trademarks for King IV.
Statement of the board of directors on the integrated annual report
This report is primarily intended to address the information requirements of long-term investors (our equity shareholders, bondholders and prospective investors). We also present information relevant to the way we create value for other key stakeholders, including our employees, clients, customers, regulators and society.
After being reviewed by the audit committee and board, the board approved the integrated annual report. The summarised consolidated annual financial statements were prepared in accordance with IFRS and the Companies Act, while the integrated annual report was prepared using the IIRC framework and recommendations of King IV. In our opinion, the integrated annual report and annual financial statements fairly reflect the financial position of the group at 31 March 2020 and its operations for the year then ended.
On behalf of the board
Bob van Dijk
29 June 2020