Old Mutual profits from African expansion
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.