NIVEUS, the former gambling and alcohol interests of Hosken Consolidated Investments unbundled into a separate JSE-listing four years ago, cut its final dividend 17%.

In a results statement released on Wednesday, Niveus declared a final dividend of 10c, down from 12c the previous year.

Added to its 7c interim dividend, the total dividend for the year to end-March came to 17c, down 10.5% from the previous year’s 19c.

Aftertax profit fell 40% to R56.6m on a 12% growth in group revenue to R2.5bn.

Subsequent to the reporting period, on May 11, Niveus announced it was selling its 57% stake in liquor distributor KWV for R1.15bn to Vasari.

Foreign exchange losses of R40m caused KWV’s contribution to headline earnings to fall 35% to R31m, it was noted in the results statement.

Revenue from wine sales increased 13%, with volume growth of 8%. Revenue from spirit sales declined 17.5%, despite a 31% decline in volume, mainly as a result of lower bulk spirits sales.

Limited pay-out machines operator Vukani grew its installed machine base to 5,265 from the prior year’s 5,052, with an average monthly gross gaming revenue per machine of R18,492, up 11% from R17,832.

“This is a satisfactory performance but below our expectations, mainly due to the underperformance of the Eastern Cape licence, where a new competitor reduced our market share, and the KwaZulu-Natal province, where we did not receive many new licences due to the issues at the KwaZulu-Natal Gaming and Betting Board,” CEO Andre van der Veen said in the results statement.

“Legislative changes remain the most significant threat to the group. The recent release of the Department of Trade and Industry’s National Gambling Policy provides an indication of national government’s policy direction,” Van der Veen said.

“The policy still contains provisions that are negative to the bingo industry, especially regarding the number and type of electronic bingo terminals. We are engaging with the provincial gaming boards to ensure that the roll-out of terminals continue and that economic feasibility of bingo licences are not compromised significantly.

“Illegal gaming is growing unabated. The South African Police Service and other regulatory structures are not able to curtail the growth, and the illegal operators are becoming even more audacious in the location and type of sites they are opening,” he said.

“In some instances, illegal gaming is conducted in premises in very close proximity to police stations. The Department of Trade and Industry continues to focus on restricting legal gaming when millions of rand in taxes are being lost through illegal gaming activities.”

Source: BDLive – Robert Laing