Liberty offices. Picture: SUPPLIED
Liberty offices. Picture: SUPPLIED

Financial services group Liberty Holdings has kept its interim dividend unchanged despite a 51% surge in pretax profit in the six months to end-June.

“The group’s performance … reflects continued progress in achieving our medium-term financial targets,” Liberty said. The group benefited from a sharp rise in earnings from the shareholder investment portfolio, as equities rebounded.

The insurer and asset manager, which was founded in 1957 by Donald Gordon and also has property interests, said profit before tax rose to R3.7bn from R2.5bn previously.

Normalised headline earnings also rose 51%, to R2bn. Liberty said group net external third-party client cash inflows surged to R10.6bn from just R1.9bn a year before.

However, the company kept its interim dividend unchanged at 276c a share.

“Management’s focus for 2019 remains on driving SA retail performance and value-of-new-business growth, maintaining Stanlib’s investment performance in the top quartile, concluding outcomes for each of the group’s operations under ownership review, and continuing to maximise our relationship with the Standard Bank Group,” Liberty said.

While the domestic economy would remain subdued through the rest of 2019, the company said it was “focusing on the right areas of the business to create sustainable longer-term value for all stakeholders”.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za