Our reporting approach

We want to continuously improve and tailor our reporting to what you want to know about SPAR’s performance and prospects, including what we do to make this business sustainable.

We want this report to reflect our values of entrepreneurship, family values and passion. Please let us know if we have achieved this – and if there is any further information that we can provide you with. You will find our contact details here and are invited to complete a survey here.

The 2018 SPAR integrated report takes a digital approach: we are moving away from providing stakeholders with a printed report. For those who still prefer a more conventional report, we offer an abridged report in print and pdf format. You are still able to download a full report in pdf format by using the ‘create your own report’ function on this website.

We have transitioned to digital reporting to increase access, usability and transparency. We use our digital platform to provide stakeholders with a broad understanding of the group’s past performance in the context of the external environment, demonstrated through a wide range of activities, interactions and relationships. This should enable you to gauge the prospects and future trajectory of SPAR’s value creation abilities.

The scope and boundary of this report

This report covers the activities of The SPAR Group Ltd (SPAR or the group) from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018. Financial and non-financial information was provided for the Southern African, Irish and Swiss operations, with as much comparability as possible. As BWG Group and SPAR Switzerland are further integrated into the group, the extent and depth of non-financial reporting will improve.

It is important to distinguish between the JSE-listed company, SPAR – primarily a warehousing and distribution business – and the operations of our independent retailers, who own stores under SPAR brands and are governed by the SPAR and Build it guilds. Both guilds are non-profit companies. We explain SPAR International, the guilds and the voluntary trading model here.

Please note that we acquired the S Buys pharmaceutical wholesale business with effect from 1 October 2017. The additional revenue and profit is therefore recognised for the first time in this period and affects the comparability of historical information in this report.

The reporting frameworks and guidelines that we used

We determined the content of this report by considering previous reports, as well as the following frameworks and regulations for financial and non-financial reporting:

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • The Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008, as amended
  • JSE Listings Requirements
  • The Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Standards
  • King IV Report on Corporate Governance™ (King IV™) 1
  • Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Codes of Good Practice of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
  • The International Integrated Reporting Council’s <IR> Framework
  • The CDP

1 Copyright and trademarks are owned by the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa NPC and all its rights are reserved.

How we determined materiality

Since first establishing material matters for reporting purposes in 2014, our determination process has evolved and matured in appreciating the importance of relationships relating to SPAR’s business model – and how these drive growth. We therefore report in detail about five material relationships: with suppliers, employees, retailers, consumers and communities.

To improve our reporting on the economic, environmental and social impact of SPAR’s operations, the group adopted the GRI Standards as a sustainability reporting framework in 2016.



SPAR hosted an externally facilitated workshop that included representation from internal specialist disciplines, management and executives. Taking into account industry risks and opportunities, as well as SPAR’s strategy, key activities and material relationships, the team selected the GRI Aspects (now material topics) with the most substantive economic, environmental and social impact.



These topics have been included in this report, and the impact, performance and management approach for each has been discussed.



To ensure stakeholder inclusiveness, SPAR ran a short, focused engagement process to test the robustness of our chosen material Aspects with a range of the group’s material stakeholders. This enabled us to check whether our internal perceptions align with external expectations.

The full process was not repeated in 2017 or 2018. According to the board, the topics remained material and are reported consistently with disclosures in 2016.

How we approach the six capitals

We use the <IR> Framework as a reporting guideline and agree with the use of the six capitals to ensure holistic, balanced reporting that considers more than just the creation of financial capital. We recognise that we use, transform, deplete, and renew these capitals in our business activities.

Although we have elected to not structure or report according to the definition of the six capitals explicitly, references to and detailed explanations of the resources and relationships that we affect – along with their interconnectedness and dependencies – are included in the section on our strategy and business model.

King IV™ references

We explain how we apply the principles of King IVTM in three specific ways:

  1. Our governance report addresses the principles in detail and contains the relevant disclosures as required by King IVTM.
  2. Our online King IVTM register contains references/links to the detail disclosures on the website and in the abridged report and a brief statement on how we apply each principle. This provides our readers with a quick overview in one document.
  3. Throughout this digital report we use icons to inform readers that we provide evidence of our implementation or arrangements according to specific principles in that section. Each icon shows the number and definition of the relevant principle for ease of use.

Forward-looking statements

Certain statements in this integrated report may constitute ‘forward-looking statements’. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the group to be materially different from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements.

SPAR undertakes no obligation to update publicly or release any revisions to these statements that reflect events or circumstances after the date of this report, or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated events.


Financial information contained in this report was independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. and external assurance was sought on non-financial data. This includes the group’s 2018 BBBEE verification, which was evaluated independently by mPowerRatings. In addition, Scope 1 and 2 data submitted to the CDP (previously the Carbon Disclosure Project) was externally verified for the 2016/2017 financial year.

An integrated assurance framework is still in development and will be rolled out in the 2019 financial year.

Board responsibility statement

The SPAR board applied its collective mind to the contents of the report and is satisfied that it provides a fair account of the business’s performance, risks, opportunities and prospects. The board confirms that the report was prepared according to the <IR> Framework and addresses the related reporting elements and principles. The board acknowledges its responsibility for the information contained in this report and has authorised it for release to stakeholders.

Mike Hankinson
13 November 2018

Graham O’Connor
Chief executive Officer
13 November 2018