INSURANCE: Metropolitan Delivers, Prepares For Growth
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Bellville-based financial services group Metropolitan Holdings, having focused on meeting the needs of customers predominantly in the lower income markets for the past 112 years, announced a sterling set of financial results yesterday.
On track to merge with Momentum once all the requisite approvals have been obtained – from shareholders, regulatory bodies and the competition authorities – Metropolitan has once again achieved a strong financial performance in the face of tough operating conditions and volatile investment markets.
“Key indicators - such as core headline earnings (both in total and per share), operating profit and value of new business - all reflected double digit increases for the six months ended 30 June 2010.
The value of new business for the group was an impressive 38% higher,” says group chief executive Wilhelm van Zyl.
“Costs were well contained right across the group, with expense control in respect of the retail business in South Africa particularly good. Against what were at times formidable odds, we also succeeded in maintaining our unparalleled record of positive cash flows from clients.”
The value of retail new business for the six months under review, at R54 million, was 108% higher than for the corresponding period in 2009 (R26 million). Thanks to a change in the mix of business to more profitable product lines, this remarkable performance was achieved despite a reduction in overall new business volumes.
Volumes declined due to the closure of the direct marketing channel, the sale of Union Life (a separate insurance company), slower independent broker new business and restrictions on various third party distribution channels. Recurring premium new business, excluding the closed businesses, was more or less on a par with 2009, while single premium income declined by13% (from R1 103 million to R 960 million).
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