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During the year, group companies made donations of US$12.9 million to charitable organisations.

Whilst it remains the group’s policy that political donations are only made by exception and in accordance with local laws, after careful consideration, the following political donations were sanctioned during the year.

The group provided funding to those political parties in South Africa’s parliamentary election in 2004 that, in addition to a commitment to democracy, had demonstrated voter support by receiving at least 1% of the total votes in the 1999 parliamentary election. It is your board’s belief that a strong democracy requires healthy political parties, particularly in a newly established democratic system like South Africa and, accordingly, an amount of R5 million (US$0.7 million) has been distributed across the six largest parties, pro-rata to their level of support in the 1999 parliamentary election.

During the year under review, Miller Brewing Company made contributions to the campaigns and office running costs of individual elected officials who indicated their support for the beer industry in states that permit such donations. Political donations made by businesses in the United States of America (US) are an expected part of the socio-political environment. The majority of donations made by the group’s US operations were for US$1,000 or less, amounting in aggregate to US$0.7 million.

The group’s operations in Central America made donations of US$0.4 million in the context of municipal and presidential elections that were held in El Salvador in the final quarter of the financial year ended 31 March 2004.

The board has reaffirmed the group’s policy not to make donations to political parties in the European Union.

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