Logistics and vehicle group Imperial Holdings is driving hard towards doubling profit from its rest-of-Africa operations. It is seeking to rely less on a shaky SA trading environment, where 59% of group revenue and 64% of operating profit were generated in the interim period to December 2016. To this end, it has been selling noncore businesses and assets that are not likely to be competitive in future, including properties, garnering billions of rand to help pay down debt. Imperial has just announced the sale of 100% of the ordinary shares and also the tier-2 capital of insurer Regent Group for about R1.8bn to Hollard. The transaction date will be approved by the Financial Services Board. Most recently, falling commodity demand, low oil prices, currency volatility and dwindling consumption have hampered Imperial’s African businesses. The rest-of-Africa region generated 9% of turnover and 16% of operating profit in the latest six-month period. But the group has bet a big part of its ...

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