During the past year, the Board has focused on guiding the business to deliver value for shareholders, ethically and responsibly, while still contributing meaningfully to all other stakeholders by way of salaries, taxes, levies and many forms of donation and support.


Larry Nestadt

Operating environment

South Africans have been feeling the brunt of adverse global and local economic conditions for some time. Still reeling from the devasting impact of the pandemic, in the past year consumers have had to deal with the consequences of high unemployment, loadshedding, rising food and fuel prices and consecutive interest rate hikes. According to the latest Deloitte South Africa Consumer Tracker, 41% of consumers say they are worse off than they were a year ago, and there are no signs of immediate improvement.

Despite these challenges, the Group continued to deliver a robust performance, and good returns for shareholders. Total revenue grew by 7.4% to R32.7 billion, while headline earnings per share (HEPS), increased by 17.4% to 116.5 cents. Globally, healthcare systems are being reimagined and reorganised to increase access to many more people, and at the lowest cost possible. Our obsessive focus on value and broadening access to healthcare positions the Group to continue supporting the financially constrained consumer while building an integrated healthcare value chain.

Earnings per share and headline earnings per share increased by 17.2% and 17.4% respectively to 116.3 cents and 116.5 cents.

Dividend

The Board declared a gross final cash dividend of 46.6 cents per share for the financial year ended 28 February 2023. This figure is based on 40% of adjusted headline earnings.

Commitment to transformation

In addition to the conclusion of our BEE transaction in August 2021, our focus remains firmly on driving transformation, inclusivity and diversity across the business. The Group has just over 20 200 employees. In our South African operations 88.5% of our employees are black and 66.4% are female.

Executive leadership changes

Last year we announced that Ivan and Lynette Saltzman had committed to divest 32.25 million Dis-Chem ordinary shares, which equates to 3.75% of Dis-Chem’s issued share capital, for the benefit of a select group of senior executives, who were identified as key to the delivery of the Group’s long-term strategic objectives. At the time, Rui Morais was also announced as Group CEO Ivan Saltzman’s successor.

The Board is pleased to confirm Rui’s appointment as Group CEO effective 1 July 2023. Rui joined the Group in 2010 and has been in the role of CFO, and a member of the executive leadership team, since August 2012. He has been integrally involved in the development of the Group’s strategy over the past 11 years.

Julia Pope, current executive head of finance, has been appointed to succeed Rui as CFO, effective 1 July 2023. Julia’s 19 years of retail experience, six of those working alongside the Dis-Chem leadership team, have prepared her well for this role. The Board congratulates her on her appointment and welcomes her as an executive director.