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The Sanlam Group this morning reported a solid operational performance for the year ended 31 December 2012, maintaining the trend of sustainable delivery to shareholders despite the persistence of challenging economic conditions.

The Group announced a special dividend of 50 cents per share in addition to the normal dividend of 165 cents per share, up 27% compared to the same period last year.

New business volumes grew by 18% to R136 billion. This increased net value of new covered business by 23% year-on-year to R1 176 million, being the first time the R1 billion hurdle has been exceeded.

Other highlights from the 2012 financial results were as follows:

  • Net result from financial services per share increased by 6%
  • Net fund inflows of R23 billion
  • Normalised headline earnings per share up 17%
  • Return on Group Equity Value per share of 22%

Commenting on the results, Sanlam Group Chief Executive, Dr Johan van Zyl attributed the resilience of the business in a challenging environment to continued focus on the Group’s strategy.

“The five pillars that underpin our strategy continue to yield good results for us and we will continue to pursue this focus going forward in order to sustain our performance and grow shareholder value while treating customers fairly,” says Dr Van Zyl.

In 2012 Sanlam achieved some key milestones in its expansion in the emerging markets, notably the acquisition of a 49% stake in Malaysian short term insurer, Pacific & Orient Insurance Co Berhad (POI) which is expected to be finally concluded in the first half of 2013, as well as the R2 billion-acquisition of a 26% interest in Shriram Capital Limited of India.

The Group’s most recent transaction, concluded in February 2013, was an acquisition of a 3,7% shareholding in Shriram Transport Finance Company for close to R1 billion.

As at 31 December 2012, after allowing for the special dividend, the Group had unallocated discretionary capital of R3,2 billion.

On its plans for 2013, the Group indicated that it would focus on extracting more value from existing operations in Africa, continue to identify other expansion opportunities in South East Asia and selected markets and strengthen distribution capabilities in South Africa.

“We again anticipate a challenging operating environment in the year ahead, including the changing regulatory landscape. However, we are confident that through our people, we have the requisite depth of skills and experience to withstand these challenges,” Dr Van Zyl concluded.

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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