Rand hits Old Mu­tual

CityPress - - Business - – Bloomberg

Old Mu­tual, the coun­try’s big­gest in­surer, said its per­for­mance in the sec­ond half of the year would prob­a­bly be af­fected by the rand’s de­cline.

“The sec­ond half in ster­ling terms will be tough,” said Ju­lian Roberts, CEO of the Lon­don-based in­surer, on Thurs­day.

Old Mu­tual, which moved its head­quar­ters to Lon­don in 1999 and also has US oper­a­tions, still makes the bulk of its earn­ings in South Africa.

The rand has de­clined 4.2% against the pound since the end of June and reached a record low of R20 against the UK cur­rency on Wed­nes­day. It closed at R19.66 to the pound on Fri­day.

Old Mu­tual’s first-half profit rose 25%, to $655 mil­lion (R8.2 bil­lion), the com­pany said this week.

Boosted by growth in its South African oper­a­tions, in­clud­ing Ned­bank Group, and on the rest of the con­ti­nent, ba­sic earn­ings per share climbed 20% to 5.4 pence.

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