Sincere Company appears to be bleeding as operating activities at the company show losses while the directors keep paying themselves fat pay cheques each year. Directors at Sincere appear to be paying for the dividends and emoluments through discharging exceptionals through the accounts. A six-year analysis of the tightly held department store company shows operating profits and profits from associated companies no longer sustain the company's directors' collective financial appetite. Since 1991 the group has earned in profit attributable to shareholders of $1.63 billion. Of this, exceptionals and extraordinaries made up $1.62 billion, or 99 per cent of the total. In the past two years the company's financial health has been failing with operating losses of $177.1 million and $32.6 million in 1995 and 1996. In 1995, there was a loss recorded of $19.75 million at the associated companies' line in the profit and loss account. By contrast, dividend payments and emoluments have been affected only modestly by the financial nosedive at Sincere. Total dividends paid out since 1991 amounted to $455.2 million. Total emoluments amounted to $153.4 million. Taking in dividends and emoluments the payout total was $608.5 million. At the core business operating level, this company is bleeding to death. This presumably cannot be in the interests of the minority shareholders in the company. Although the directors appear to own personally just 20 million shares in the company, representing 3.48 per cent of the issued share capital, it is highly unlikely that any sort of minority investor rebellion would be successful. The Sincere Life Assurance Co and the Sincere Insurance and Investment Co have an interest in up to 45 per cent of the company. Some of the directors of these interested parties happen to come from the board of the Sincere Co. Sincere Co is shifting its focus to make up for the poor operating performance of the group. Exceptionals in 1995 and 1996 represent sales of units at Sincere House along with the realisation of revaluation reserve on the sale of the units. In 1994, the exceptional was a repayment of a director's bonus on the sale of a group asset. Shareholders can expect exceptionals to remain commonplace in the accounts. Properties under development is a growing portion of group assets in the consolidated balance sheet. There was nothing shown under this item in 1993. In 1994 $68.64 million was shown, followed by $289.8 million in 1995 and $558.6 million in 1996. Presumably, gains from this activity will feed through the profit and loss account at some point. The 1996 total was greater than group fixed assets of $466.4 million. Part of the reason why the company is able to show a rise in assets over the 1991-96 period is down to asset inflation in the territory as opposed to anything the company's directors have done to add value to it.