The annual financial statements are prepared in accordance with the accounting policies which fully comply with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and are consistent with those applied in the previous year.


The consolidated financial statements include the financial statements of the company and of its subsidiaries. The results of subsidiaries are included from the date effective control was acquired and up to the date effective control ceased. Investments in joint ventures are accounted for on the proportionate consolidation method from the effective date of acquisition and up to the effective date of disposal. All material inter-company balances and transactions are eliminated. Special purpose entities which were established in a recent black economic empowerment transaction have been and will continue to be consolidated while Tongaat Hulett carries a residual risk in these entities.

Minority interests in the net assets of consolidated subsidiaries are identified separately from Tongaat Hulett’s equity therein. The interests of minority shareholders is initially measured at the date of acquisition at the minority’s proportion of the net fair value of the assets and liabilities consolidated and thereafter, the minority’s share of changes in equity since the date of acquisition. Losses applicable to the minority in excess of the minority’s interest in the subsidiary’s equity are allocated against the interests of Tongaat Hulett except to the extent that the minority has a binding obligation and the financial ability to cover such losses.


Property, plant and equipment are stated at cost, including refurbishment, less accumulated depreciation and impairment. Cost includes the estimated cost of dismantling and removing the assets. Interest and other costs incurred on major capital projects are capitalised until all the activities necessary to prepare assets for their intended use are substantially complete.

Assets held under finance lease agreements are capitalised at fair value and the corresponding liabilities to the lessor are raised. Lease finance charges are charged to profit or loss over the term of the relevant lease using the effective interest rate method. Land and capital work in progress are not depreciated. All other fixed assets, including major factory overhaul costs, are depreciated and charged to profit or loss over their expected useful lives to estimated residual values at rates appropriate to their use. Maintenance expenditure on the company’s sugar mills following the cessation of crushing for the season is carried forward as a current asset and charged against the following season’s income. Where significant parts of a fixed asset item have different useful lives to the item itself, these component parts are depreciated over their estimated useful lives. The methods of depreciation, useful lives and residual values are reviewed annually.

During the year under review, property, plant and equipment were depreciated on the straight line basis using the rates set out below:

Agricultural land improvements 50 to 99 years
Buildings 30 to 50 years
Plant and equipment 4 to 40 years
Vehicles 4 to 12 years
Furniture and equipment 3 to 10 years

On the disposal or scrapping of property, plant and equipment, the gain or loss arising thereon is recognised in profit or loss.


An intangible asset is an identifiable non-monetary asset without physical substance. Intangible assets are measured initially at cost. After initial recognition, an intangible asset is measured at cost less accumulated amortisation. An intangible asset with a finite useful life is amortised on the straight line basis over its expected useful life, which in the case of software is four years and over three to seven years in the case of cane supply agreements. An intangible asset with an indefinite useful life is not amortised, but is tested annually for impairment. When an intangible asset is disposed of, the gain or loss on disposal is recognised in profit or loss.


Growing crops comprise roots and standing cane. The carrying value is determined as follows:

  • Roots at current replacement cost of planting and establishment, amortised over the period of their productive life;
  • Standing cane at the estimated cane price and sucrose content less harvesting, transport and over the weighbridge costs.


Goodwill arising in a business combination is recognised as an asset at the date that control is acquired (the acquisition date). Goodwill is measured as the excess of the sum of the consideration transferred, the amount of any non-controlling interests in the acquiree, and the fair value of the acquirer’s previously held equity interest in the acquiree (if any) over the net of the acquisition-date amounts of the identifiable assets acquired and the liabilities assumed. If, after reassessment, the Group’s interest in the fair value of the acquiree’s identifiable net assets exceeds the sum of the consideration transferred, the amount of any non-controlling interests in the acquiree and the fair value of the acquirer’s previously held equity interest in the acquiree (if any), the excess is recognised immediately in profit or loss as a bargain purchase gain. On disposal of a subsidiary, the attributable amount of goodwill is included in the determination of the profit or loss on disposal.


Associates are those companies, which are not subsidiaries or joint ventures, over which Tongaat Hulett exercises significant influence. Results of associates are equity accounted. Any losses of associates are brought to account until the investment in, and loans to, such associates are written down to a nominal amount. Thereafter losses are accounted for only insofar as Tongaat Hulett is committed to providing financial support to such associates.

The carrying value of investments in associates represents the cost of each investment including goodwill, the share of post acquisition retained income or losses and other movements in reserves.


Inventories are valued at the lower of cost and net realisable value determined in general on the first-in-first-out and average methods. The cost of finished goods and work in progress comprises direct materials, labour and appropriate overhead costs. Progress payments are deducted from work in progress where applicable. Development properties comprise land valued at cost and development expenditure attributable to unsold properties. Obsolete and slow moving inventories are identified and suitable reductions in value are made where necessary.


Certain maize purchase commitments are recognised as constructive obligations. Maize that relates to such a constructive obligation is recognised as inventory, the related liability is recognised as a current liability and to the extent that the final purchase price includes a financing element, this is recognised as interest over the period of the obligation.


Deferred tax liabilities are recognised for all taxable temporary differences and deferred tax assets are recognised to the extent that it is probable that taxable profit will be available against which deductible temporary differences can be utilised. Such assets and liabilities are not recognised if the temporary difference arises from goodwill (or negative goodwill) or from the initial recognition (other than a business combination) of other assets and liabilities in a transaction, which does not affect either taxable profit or accounting profit.


At the date of each statement of financial position, Tongaat Hulett reviews the carrying amounts of its tangible and intangible assets to determine whether there is any indication that those assets have suffered an impairment loss. If any such indication exists the recoverable amount of the asset, being the higher of its net selling price and its value in use, is assessed in order to determine the extent of the impairment loss, if any.

If the recoverable amount of an asset is estimated to be less than its carrying amount, its carrying amount is reduced to its recoverable amount. Impairment losses are recognised as an expense immediately and are treated as exceptional items.


Expenditure on research is charged to profit or loss in the year in which it is incurred. Development costs are reviewed annually and are expensed if they do not qualify for capitalisation. The amount of development cost recognised as an asset is amortised over the estimated useful life of the related development but not exceeding five years.


Revenue comprises sales arising from normal trading activities excluding intra-group transactions and is recognised when the significant risks and rewards of the goods are transferred to the buyer. In respect of the sale of township properties, sales are recognised when the relevant agreements are unconditional and binding on the purchaser, the purchaser has paid a meaningful deposit or has made arrangements to secure payment of the purchase price, zoning and final conditions of establishment have been obtained and servicing arrangements and costs are substantially finalised. Bulk land sales are recognized when the relevant agreements are unconditional and binding on the purchaser and the purchaser has paid a meaningful deposit or has made arrangements to secure payment of the purchase price. In the determination of revenue, cash and settlement discounts, rebates and VAT are excluded.


The functional currency of each entity within Tongaat Hulett is determined based on the currency of the primary economic environment in which that entity operates. Transactions in currencies other than the entity’s functional currency are recognised at the rates of exchange ruling on the date of the transaction. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in such currencies are translated at the rates ruling at the date of the statement of financial position.

Gains and losses arising on exchange differences are recognised in profit or loss.

The financial statements of entities whose functional currencies are different to Tongaat Hulett’s presentation currency which, because of its primary operating activities, is South African Rand, are translated as follows:

  • Assets, including goodwill, and liabilities at exchange rates ruling at the date of the statement of financial position;
  • Income and expense items at the average exchange rates for the period; and
  • Equity items at the exchange rate ruling when they arose.

Resulting exchange differences are classified as a foreign currency translation reserve and recognised directly in equity. On disposal of such an entity, this reserve is recognised in profit or loss.



A financial asset or financial liability is recognised in the statement of financial position for as long as Tongaat Hulett is a party to the contractual provisions of the instrument. Purchases of derivatives are recognised on trade date and sales are recognised on settlement date. Gains or losses on derecognition of financial assets or liabilities are recognised in profit or loss.


Financial instruments are initially measured at cost, including directly attributable transaction costs. Subsequent to initial recognition these instruments are measured as follows:

  • Trade and other receivables originated by Tongaat Hulett are held at amortised cost, using the effective interest rate method, after deducting accumulated impairment losses. Receivables with no fixed maturity are held at cost.
  • Held-to-maturity investments are held at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method after deducting accumulated impairment losses.
  • Fair value through profit or loss financial assets, available for sale and cash equivalent investments are held at fair value.
  • Financial liabilities are measured at amortised cost, except for held-for-trading financial liabilities and derivatives, which are held at fair value.

Gains or losses on subsequent measurement

Gains or losses on subsequent measurement of financial instruments that are carried at fair value, and are not part of a hedging relationship, are accounted for as follows:

  • Fair value through profit or loss financial assets are recognised in profit or loss for the year.
  • Available for sale and cash equivalent investments are taken to equity until the financial asset is disposed of, or determined to be impaired, at which time the cumulative gain or loss previously recognised in equity is included in profit or loss for the year.

For the purposes of hedge accounting, hedges are classified into two categories:

  • Fair value hedges, which hedge the exposure to changes in the fair value of a recognised asset, liability or firm commitment; and
  • Cash flow hedges, which hedge exposure to variability in cash flows that is either attributable to a particular risk associated with a recognised asset or liability or a forecasted transaction.

In relation to fair value hedges, which meet the conditions for hedge accounting, any gain or loss from remeasuring the hedging instrument to fair value is recognised in profit or loss for the period. Any gain or loss on the hedged item attributable to the hedged risk is adjusted against the carrying amount of the hedged item and recognised in profit or loss for the period.

In relation to cash flow hedges, which meet the conditions for hedge accounting, the portion of the gain or loss on the hedging instrument that is determined to be an effective hedge is recognised directly in shareholders’ equity and the ineffective portion is recognised in profit or loss for the period. For cash flow hedges affecting future transactions, the gains or losses, which are recognised in shareholders’ equity, are transferred to profit or loss in the same period in which the hedged transaction affects profit or loss. Where the hedged transaction results in the recognition of an asset or a liability, then at the time the asset or liability is recognised, the associated gain or loss that had previously been recognised in shareholders’ equity is included in the initial measurement of the acquisition cost or other carrying amount of the asset or liability.


Where the redemption of debt, raised for major capital projects, is provided for by sinking funds or financial instruments which allow for the legal right of set-off against the debt on the repayment date, and it is expected that the debt will be settled in this way, the related income statement, statement of cash flows and statement of financial position items are set off.

Financial guarantee contracts

Where financial guarantee contracts are entered into, these are regarded as insurance contracts and accounted for as insurance arrangements.


Government grants are assistance by government in the form of transfers of resources to an entity in return for past or future compliance with certain conditions relating to the operating activities of the entity. When the conditions attaching to government grants have been complied with they are recognised in profit or loss. When they are for expenses or losses already incurred, they are recognised immediately in profit or loss.


Retirement funds

The assets of the defined benefit and defined contribution schemes are held separately from those of Tongaat Hulett and are administered and controlled by trustees.

There is one defined benefit scheme in South Africa for employees that previously covered The Tongaat-Hulett Group Limited and in 2010/11 covered Tongaat Hulett and Hulamin. This scheme is actuarially valued at intervals of not more than three years using the projected unit credit method. The actuarial valuation of The Tongaat-Hulett Pension Fund as at 31 December 2009 revealed an actuarial surplus, a portion of which was allocated to the employer surplus account with the balance remaining in the Fund. The allocation to the employer surplus account, which was approved by the trustees in August 2010, was split between the participating employers, Tongaat Hulett and Hulamin, as in the past, proportionate to their share of the liabilities in the Fund at the valuation date. Consequently an amount of R129 million (2010: R79 million) was recognised in the results to
31 March 2011, net of the employer contribution holiday for the period. The employer surplus account is being utilised for a contribution holiday.

Following the unbundling of Hulamin from The Tongaat-Hulett Group in 2007, The Tongaat-Hulett Group Pension Fund was required to be split between the employers and the manner in which the funds proceed following the unbundling also needed clarity, as reported previously. In December 2010 approval was granted by the trustees for the filings with the Financial Services Board (FSB) on the detail and basis of the splitting of the old fund into two new funds -one for Tongaat Hulett and one for Hulamin.

Following this clarity on the fund, the IFRS standard IAS 19 requires that, in these circumstances, the employer recognise on its statement of financial position the relevant “defined benefit asset” relating to the accounting surplus, with a corresponding increase in earnings at the time of recognition. The detail of the accounting standards on this matter are contained in IAS 19, IFRIC 14 and AC 504. Where an asset is to be recognised, IAS 19 limits the amount that should be recognised. IFRIC 14, updated in January 2010, provides guidance on this matter. AC 504, issued in October 2010, provides guidance on the application of IFRIC 14.

The application of these standards confirm the recognition of the amounts previously allocated to the Tongaat Hulett Employer Surplus Account in the Fund and recognised in Tongaat Hulett’s financial statements.

A further accounting recognition was required for the year ended 31 March 2011. IFRIC 14 and AC 504 specify the criteria to be used in determining the amount to be recognised which represents the difference between the estimated future IAS 19 service cost /contribution rate and the actual actuarially determined contribution rate over a relevant period. An amount of R288 million has been recognised in profit in respect of this “defined benefit pension fund asset”.

The defined benefit pension fund accounting disclosures are detailed in note 32.

Contributions to defined contribution schemes are charged to profit or loss when incurred.

Post-retirement medical aid benefits and retirement gratuities

Provision is made for post-retirement medical aid benefits and gratuities payable on retirement and is based on the present value of those liabilities for services rendered to date as determined by independent actuaries. Actuarial gains and losses are amortised over ten years beginning in the year that the actuarial gain or loss arises.


The company enters into share-based payment transactions in terms of the employee share incentive schemes. The charge to profit or loss required by IFRS 2 Share-based Payment is accounted for in terms of the scheme on the basis that the instruments are equity-settled. The total amount to be expensed on a straight line basis over the vesting period is determined with reference to the fair value of the awards determined at the grant date. Non-market vesting conditions are included in assumptions about the number of awards that are expected to become due, including taking into account the forfeiture of instruments due to resignation and these assumptions are reviewed on an annual basis. The fair value of the share-based payment is measured using a binomial tree model and/or a Monte Carlo Simulation model, as is appropriate for the various schemes.


Broad based 18% interest held by strategic partners, cane and infrastructure communities

The broad based BEE equity participation of 18%, involving strategic partners, cane and infrastructure communities, is held by two SPVs – the TH Infrastructure SPV (10%) and the yoMoba SPV (8%).

The cost related to this 18% broad based BEE equity participation was measured and recognised at the grant date in June 2007, resulting in a once-off IFRS 2 cost of R320 million being recognised in profit or loss in 2007.

The BEE Infrastructure SPV participation interest, concluded in 2007, of R1,289 billion was funded through a combination of notional vendor financing (R821 million), preference share funding (R458 million) and equity and shareholders’ loans of
R10 million. The BEE yoMoba SPV participation interest of R1,031 billion was funded through a combination of notional vendor financing (R657 million), preference share funding (R367 million) and equity and shareholders’ loans of R8 million. The SPV’s participation interests are in the form of preferred ordinary shares which are entitled to receive a fixed coupon every year for a period of seven years. After seven years the preferred ordinary shares will cease to receive preferred ordinary dividends. Tongaat Hulett has therefore committed to pay a fixed coupon on these preferred ordinary shares of R100 million in aggregate on an annual basis and the preferred ordinary shares will not receive any ordinary dividends for the duration of the seven year period. In terms of the notional vendor finance arrangement between the respective SPVs and Tongaat Hulett (R821 million in respect of the BEE TH Infrastructure SPV and R657 million in respect of the BEE yoMoba SPV), Tongaat Hulett will be entitled to repurchase, at a price of R0,01 per share, such number of shares as determined in accordance with a repurchase formula, subject to the external funding claims in the SPV. The number of shares repurchased will be a function of the value of the shares subscribed for at par, the notional return required by Tongaat Hulett and the success of the earn-in initiatives by the respective BEE partners. In compliance with IFRS, the two BEE SPVs are consolidated by Tongaat Hulett and consequently the preferred ordinary shares are reflected as treasury shares in the consolidated financial statements and are taken into account where relevant when calculating earnings per share. The external debt of the SPVs, amounting to R761 million in aggregate at
31 March 2011 (31 March 2010 – R787 million), is thus reflected on the consolidated statement of financial position and the funding charge incurred by the SPV is reflected in the consolidated income statement. This BEE debt does not have recourse to Tongaat Hulett and will effectively be equity-settled. After seven years the preferred ordinary shares will convert into Tongaat Hulett listed ordinary shares.

BEE 7% employee interest

The 7% BEE employee transaction comprises the Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) and the Management Share Ownership Plan (MSOP). The ESOP scheme consists of a share appreciation right scheme and participants share in 50% of the dividend payable to ordinary shareholders. The MSOP scheme consists of two components namely a share appreciation right scheme and a share grant scheme. The ESOP Trust and MSOP Trust were established to acquire and hold Tongaat Hulett Limited shares for the benefit of designated employees. These shares have specific repurchase terms at maturity (five years from grant). They are a separate class of restricted shares which, other than for the repurchase terms, rank pari passu with ordinary shares and become ordinary shares on maturity.

The IFRS 2 costs relating to the 7% BEE employee transaction is amortised over 5 years, having commenced in the second half of 2007.

The BEE employee equity participation trusts’ subscription consideration for the new class of share (“B ordinary shares”) was funded through contributions by the respective operating entities in Tongaat Hulett and the notional vendor finance provided to the employees, which will be recovered at the maturity of the scheme through the repurchase by Tongaat Hulett of so many
B ordinary shares as equate in value to the amount of the outstanding notional vendor funding. The repurchase formulae take into account a notional funding requirement based, inter alia, on the ordinary dividend declared each year.

In accordance with IFRS, the ESOP Share Trust and MSOP Share Trust are consolidated by Tongaat Hulett and consequently the B ordinary shares are reflected as treasury shares in the consolidated financial statements and are taken into account where relevant when calculating diluted earnings per share.


Preparing financial statements in accordance with IFRS requires estimates and assumptions that affect reported amounts and related disclosures. Certain accounting policies have been identified as involving complex or subjective judgments or assessments. The items for consideration have been identified as follows:

  • Growing crop valuation:
    Growing crops are required to be measured at fair value less harvesting, transport and over the weighbridge costs. In determining fair value an estimate is made of the yield of the standing cane as well as the estimated cane price. These estimates can vary from the actuals when the cane is harvested.
  • In Tongaat Hulett Developments, project cost of sales determination and cost allocation to sites includes a future development expenditure accrual:
    Judgement is applied in determining total project costs, which are supported by estimates from professional consultants and consulting engineers for services infrastructure. These costs are reviewed by management three to four times a year during the forecasting process and if necessary, estimates are revised accordingly. At the outset as well as during the life of a project, judgement is applied in determining the sales prices per saleable sites or bulk square metres, which is supported with input from estate agents, external property valuers and management on an ongoing basis as well as during the forecasting process. Cost of sales allocation to sites is apportioned in proportion to sales values.
  • Asset lives and residual lives:
    Property, plant and equipment are depreciated over their useful lives taking into account residual values. The actual lives of the assets and residual values are assessed annually and are influenced by factors such as technological innovation, product life cycles and maintenance programmes. Residual value assessments consider issues such as market conditions, the remaining life of the asset and projected disposal values.
  • Impairment of assets:
    Ongoing assessments are made regarding any potential impairment of assets across Tongaat Hulett, using valuation models prescribed under IFRS.
  • Decommissioning and rehabilitation obligations in respect of the environment:
    Tongaat Hulett monitors and assesses its obligations arising from decommissioning of plant and rehabilitation of the environment on an ongoing basis.
  • Post-retirement benefit obligations:
    Post-retirement benefit obligations are provided for certain existing and former employees. Actuarial valuations are based on assumptions which include employee turnover, mortality rates, the discount rate, the expected long-term rate of return of retirement plan assets, healthcare costs, inflation rates and salary increments.
  • Pension fund defined benefit asset:
    IAS 19 requires that the employer recognise on its statement of financial position the relevant “Defined Benefit Asset” relating to the accounting surplus in the defined benefit pension fund, with a corresponding increase in earnings at the time of recognition. Where an asset is to be recognised, IAS 19 limits the amount that should be recognised. Further detail is provided in note 32.
  • Valuation of financial instruments:
    The value of the derivative instruments fluctuates on a daily basis and the actual amounts realised may differ materially from their value at the date of the statement of financial position.


There are no key assumptions concerning the future and other key sources of estimation uncertainty at the date of the statement of financial position that management have assessed as having a significant risk of causing material adjustment to the carrying amounts of the assets and liabilities within the next financial year.


The following relevant new standards and interpretations were also in issue but not effective for the current period. Tongaat Hulett is in the process of evaluating the effects of these new standards and interpretations but they are not expected to have a significant impact on Tongaat Hulett’s results and disclosures:

IFRS 1:   First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards
IFRS 2:   Share-based Payment
IFRS 7:   Financial Instruments: Disclosures
IFRS 9:   Financial Instruments
IAS 1:   Presentation of Financial Statements
IAS 12:   Income Taxes
IAS 24:   Related Party Disclosures
IAS 27:   Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements
IAS 34:   Interim Financial Reporting
IFRIC 13:   Customer Loyalty Programmes
IFRIC 19:   Extinguishing Financial Liabilities with Equity Instruments.