Ian Kirk. Picture: SUPPLIED
Ian Kirk. Picture: SUPPLIED

Sanlam said on Wednesday its new business volumes were growing ahead of inflation despite the tough market conditions which it expects to persist for the foreseeable future.

The company provided an operational performance for the 10 months ending October which was characterised by new business volumes rising by 6% to R199bn versus the same period a year ago.

“We are satisfied about this performance in the challenging conditions. It is pleasing that we continue to deliver good relative performance across our businesses. This is testimony to the quality of our business and our people, their ability to execute and deliver value for all our stakeholders,” said Sanlam CEO Ian Kirk.

The stand-out performer was Sanlam Emerging Markets which recorded overall new business growth of 37%. The net result for the diversified and increasingly internationally focused financial services conglomerate says net operational earnings for the period rose by 16%.  

Despite the generally upbeat operational performance, the tough economic environment was most evident in its recurring premium businesses which are  primarily focused on the middle-income market. Declining consumer disposable income meant that new business volumes rose marginally over 2018.

This segment is expected to remain challenging as Sanlam expects no improvement in domestic economic growth for the foreseeable future.

Results were mixed at Sanlam Investment Group where new business volumes rose by 6%. The local asset and wealth manager saw inflows of 14% and 34% respectively, but the international businesses disappointed with a 26% decline in inflows.

The company also said its new partnership with Capitec Bank which has seen Sanlam contributing its licence and expertise in life insurance for the sale of funeral policies into the banks’ substantial client base was progressing well and continued to “exceed expectations”. The joint venture contributed about R900m to new business volumes after opening doors in May 2018.

Sanlam closed 1.44% higher at R77 per share on Tuesday.

thompsonw@businesslive.co.za