Old Mu­tual prof­its from African ex­pan­sion

RISKAFRICA Magazine - - • AVCA -

Africa’s largest in­surer, Old Mu­tual, an­nounced an 18 per cent in­crease in an­nual prof­its, prin­ci­pally due to the strong per­for­mance of its African sub­sidiaries.

The com­pany posted an ad­justed op­er­at­ing profit of $2.4 bil­lion be­fore tax and an in­crease of around $460 mil­lion from the pre­vi­ous year, ex­ceed­ing an­a­lysts’ ex­pec­ta­tions. Old Mu­tual cited re­duced costs and the fo­cus on sell­ing life in­sur­ance in fast-grow­ing mar­kets in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, such as Kenya and Namibia. “Old Mu­tual has four strate­gic pri­or­i­ties: ex­pand­ing in Africa; de­vel­op­ing our busi­ness in the fast-grow­ing South African mar­kets; build­ing our wealth busi­ness; and grow­ing US as­set man­age­ment,” says chief ex­ec­u­tive Ju­lian Roberts.

Ac­cord­ing to Roberts, the group will spend in the re­gion of R5 bil­lion on fur­ther ex­pan­sion through­out Africa over the next three to five years. The com­pany is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a mas­sive re­struc­tur­ing phase af­ter sell­ing as­sets in Amer­ica and Europe and shift­ing its sights to Africa in re­sponse to the global fi­nan­cial melt­down. “While the eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment re­mains un­cer­tain, we are fo­cused on the mar­kets which fit our cri­te­ria and where we see long-term, struc­tural growth,” con­cludes Roberts.

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