R37 million payout for South Africa’s richest man

 ·19 Mar 2024

Despite a total earnings loss amid a challenging economic environment, holding and investment company Remgro kept its interim dividend the same – delivering a hefty payout to South Africa’s richest man, Johann Rupert.

Remgro, chaired by Rupert and established by his father Anton, is an investment holding company with major shareholdings in several listed and unlisted companies, including Mediclinic, the OUTsurance Group, Vumatel, Heineken, and more.

For the six months ended 31 December 2023 (H1 2024), the group’s headline earnings decreased by 40.1% to R2.1 billion from R3.5 billion the year before.

“A significant driver of the decline in headline earnings relates to the effect of the corporate actions implemented in the recent past, the majority of which are non-recurring items,” the group said.

“The difficult operating environment, particularly in relation to the trading results of Heineken Beverages also contributed to the material decline in headline earnings.”

The impairment of Remgro’s investment in Heineken Beverages (R3.4 billion), Remgro’s portion of the impairment of Heineken Beverages’ goodwill created through the Distell/Heineken merger (R1.8 billion), and the decrease in headline earnings saw the group’s total earnings fall to a loss of R2.4 billion (H1 2023: a profit of R4 billion).

In the 2023 financial year, Remgro accounted for a profit on disposal of R3.4 billion regarding the Distell/Heineken merger.

“The decrease was partially offset by the profit realised on the disposal of the investment in DC Foods, Remgro’s portion of the profit realised by RCL Foods on the disposal of its Vector Logistics business and Remgro’s portion of the profit realised by Capevin on the termination of the Gordon’s Gin agreement.”

Despite the massive drop in total earnings, the group maintained its interim dividend at 80 cents per share.

FinancialH1 2023H1 2024Change
Revenue (Rm)24 15725 414+4.9%
Headline Earnings (Rm)3 529 2 113 -40.1%
Total Earnings (loss) (Rm)3 951(2 394)-160.59%
Earnings/(loss) per share (cents)701(432)-161.40%
Headline Earnings per Share (cents)626381-39.1%
Interim Dividend (cents)8080

Rupert, through Rupert Beleggings Proprietary Ltd, owns all 39 million+ unlisted B-shares in Remgro and approximately 7.5 million ordinary shares in the group (FY 2023 figures).

When added together, Rupert got a R37.28 million payday before tax from the six-month period.

This works out to around R204,835.16 per day over the period.

However, this multi-million rand payout barely affects Rupert’s overall wealth, which Forbes estimates at $11.9 billion (R226 billion). In a wider context, the payout makes up around 0.016% of Rupert’s total wealth.

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