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Naspers switches to US dollar reporting

But dividends will continue to be declared in rand.

Demonstrating just how much of an international business it has become, JSE-listed Naspers has announced that it will in future report all of its earnings in US dollars instead of rand.

It said in a notice to shareholders on Monday that it will change the presentation currency in its consolidated financial statements from the South African currency to the dollar with effect from the financial year ended March 31 2016.

“Over the past 100 years, the group has evolved from a single-country newspaper business and early investor in pay television to a video-entertainment leader and global internet and e-commerce group with operations in over 130 countries,” it said.

“Today, more than 70% of revenue measured on an economic interest basis (which includes the group’s proportionate share of the revenue of associates and joint ventures) is sourced from outside South Africa.”

In addition to this, the group’s shareholder base is now largely comprised of foreign investors, it said. Reporting to these investors in rand is “of limited relevance”.

“Internally, the board also bases its performance evaluation and many investment decisions on US dollar financial information,” it added.

“The board therefore believes that US dollar financial reporting provides more relevant presentation of the group’s financial position, funding and treasury functions, financial performance and its cash flows.”

Naspers said the functional currencies of its underlying businesses — functional currencies referring to the currencies of the primary economic environments in which underlying businesses operate — remain unchanged and that foreign exchange exposures will therefore be unaffected by the change, albeit that the effects of such exposures will be presented in dollars.

Dividends, however, will continue to be declared in rand, with the relevant exchange rate announced at the time of the dividend payment.

This article was first published on TechCentral. To access it, please click here.

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