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Relations with shareholders

All shareholders are encouraged to attend the annual general meeting held in July, which provides shareholders with the opportunity to ask questions of the board and chairmen of all the board committees. At the meeting, all resolutions are put to a vote on a poll, with the results being published on the company's website, and on the London and Johannesburg stock exchange news services. As the geographic spread of shareholders inevitably means that not every shareholder can attend a meeting in the UK, a video film and a full transcript of the proceedings of the meeting are published on our website. In order to further ease access to information, all shareholders have the opportunity to receive statutory information from the company electronically.

The company maintains a dedicated investor relations function which reports to the Director of Corporate Affairs. The investor relations team builds and maintains long-term relationships with institutional investors and analysts and, in partnership with our corporate and divisional management teams and within the scope of regulatory constraints, gives presentations on group performance and regional businesses and strives to ensure that these are understood across the global equity markets, including in one-to-one meetings with investors. Dialogue on sustainable developments and socially responsible investment matters is handled by the Group Head of Sustainable Development, who undertakes focused meetings with interested investors and stakeholders.

In addition to scheduled management-led programmes in which executives interact with investors and analysts, the Chairman annually contacts all shareholders (or their representatives) holding more than 1% of the issued share capital of the company, to enable him to address any queries which shareholders may have about the governance of the company or non-operational aspects of company strategy. As part of this initiative the Chairman offers to meet with significant shareholders in the month before the annual general meeting specifically to deal with issues arising from the annual report and notice of the annual general meeting. Institutional and shareholder comment on the annual report is conveyed by the Company Secretary to the full board and to the audit and remuneration committees in relation to matters within their respective terms of reference.