Insurance group Sanlam outperformed peers in a tough domestic economy, posting double-digit earnings growth in its businesses both inside and outside SA, its 2016 financial results showed. "Given various external headwinds, Sanlam’s operational results were remarkably resilient," said Justin Floor, a portfolio manager at Kagiso Asset Management. For the year to December 2016, Sanlam reported a 10% increase in net operating profit, boosted by strong performances from underlying businesses. A decline in investment returns earned on its capital portfolio sent normalised headline earnings down 6% to R8.4bn. Sanlam Personal Finance, which constitutes almost half of group earnings, grew profit 7% to R4bn. Following large withdrawals from savings policies, which had hurt Sanlam’s rivals, CEO Ian Kirk said that there were no major concerns around customer persistency. "The issue there is how you sell and how you service. You have to sell the right product to the right client who has the fin...

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