Insurance group Sanlam suffered a 7% decline in interim top line, but still managed to grow its bottom line by 3%. Sanlam has overtaken Old Mutual as the JSE’s largest life insurance group with a market capitalisation of R171bn. Old Mutual’s market cap has fallen to R147bn following its separation from Quilter. Sanlam reported net income (top line) of R44bn for the six months to end-June, 7% down from the R47bn in the first half of its 2017 financial year. Net profit was R5.5bn, 3% up from R5.4bn in the matching period. The group does not pay an interim dividend. "A lack of growth in formal employment, higher tax rates and inflationary pressure dampened disposable income and demand in our core middle-income market in SA," CEO Ian Kirk said in the results statement. The group’s investment division suffered from a "larger than benchmark exposure to Steinhoff" in 2017. Sanlam Investment Group was the only division to suffer a drop in after-tax income. Its contribution fell 12% to R522m...

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