Sanlam, the largest South Africa-based insurer, said first-half profit rose 36% after expanding in emerging markets and developing new products.
Earnings excluding one-time items and fund transfers jumped to R3.44-billion rand in the six months through June, from R2.53-billion a year earlier, the Cape Town-based company said today in a statement. New life-insurance business volumes climbed 37% it said.
Expansion in emerging markets, product innovation, growth in investments and client retention helped boost performance, the company said, adding that it is studying other opportunities in emerging markets.
Sanlam operates in Africa, Europe, the UK, US, India and Malaysia. It paid a special dividend earlier this year and boosted its stake in an Indian financial services group and took 49% of Malaysia’s Pacific & Orient Insurance.
"The operating environment in the second half of the year is expected to remain difficult with weak economic growth in the group’s core markets and investment market volatility," Sanlam said. "These conditions, combined with a higher comparative base in the second half of the year and some once-off items impacting the results for the first six months of 2013 are likely to impact the group’s ability to maintain the strong growth achieved in the key performance metrics."
Sanlam rose 5.6% this year, lagging the 13% average gain on the five-member FTSE/JSE Africa Life Assurance Index. – Bloomberg