Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA) Archives
DURBAN - Africa's leading entertainment company, the MultiChoice Group, released its first integrated annual report since its listing on the JSE in February and revealed that it has paid a combined R54.38 million in total remuneration packages for its four executive directors.

The information was contained in the group’s annual report released yesterday.

The group’s executive chairperson, Imtiaz Patel, was the highest paid among the executives with a salary of $648000 (R9.19million) in 2019, but this figure excludes bonuses, short-term incentives and pension contribution.

His total remuneration jumped to $1.46m when including all the benefits, which include short-term incentives of $434000, pension contribution of $42000 and benefits of $339000.

The group’s chief executive Calvo Mawela was paid an annual salary of R5.57m and the figure rises to R10.63m when all other benefits are included.

Chief financial officer Tim Jacobs was paid a total package of R8.45m, while chief operating officer Brand de Villiers received a total package of $1.02m.

The group also noted in the annual report that Patel and De Villiers were paid in US dollars, which is aligned with the MultiChoice Group Dubai-based contracts and took into account Dubai’s cost of living.

Chairperson of the remuneration committee, advocate Kgomotso Moroka, said the unbundling of MultiChoice from Naspers and the listing on the JSE was an important milestone in the history of the organisation.

“This milestone has provided us with new opportunities to design a remuneration approach that is best suited to current market practices and to the nature of our business.

"Following the unbundling, the remuneration committee has been actively reviewing our remuneration approach to ensure it is fit for purpose, as well as considering valuable input received from the shareholders,” Moroka said.

The MultiChoice Group includes MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Showmax Africa and Irdeto.

In the year to end March, the group reported total revenue of R50.1billion, a trading profit of R7bn and core headline earnings of R1.8bn.

Mawela said in the annual report that during the financial year 2019, the group concluded a restructure to align its structures with the company strategy and to reposition the business for growth.

“The work in reducing our cost base will continue in the near future to maintain our margins. We will also continue to develop and invest in digital, systems and machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to enable our growth into the future, including investing in and developing the required talent and capabilities,” he said.

The group’s share price has increased to R134.50 a share since listing in February, up from the listing price of R95.50.