Diversified insurance firm, Zimre Holdings Limited (ZHL), reported 15 000 percent profit jump to $117,6 million for the half year ended June 30, 2019 buoyed by property division Zimre Property Investment (ZPI) as well as domestic insurance operations.
According to the group, ZPI anchored profitability following fair value gains on revaluation of investment property (driven by change in reporting currency), rental reviews and US$ denominated revenue from sale of inventory property.
“Significant business growth in reinsurance also contributed positively, particularly in the Mozambican operation,” said chairman Ben Kumalo in a statement accompanying the group’s financials.
Gross premium written rose 221 percent to $50,9 million from $15,8 million recorded during the same period in the prior year.
At $29 million, net premium earned was 178 percent above prior year comparable period while total insurance income jumped 194 percent to $34,4 million.
Total income grew 1 000 percent to $167,1 million on account of the continued business growth in the reinsurance operations especially in the regional subsidiaries which contributed 68 percent of the premium written, and letting of high value rental space by ZPI.
Claims and expenses for the period under review amounted to $40,6 million in 2019 from $14,2 million representing a 64 percent increase. ZHL attributed the increase in total expenditure to inflationary factors and foreign currency exchange losses in the domestic environment and negative claims experience in Zambia and Malawi.
Total assets as at close of the period under review were $433,5 million on the back of the revaluation of properties and monetary assets.
At close of the six months under review, shareholders’ equity was at $194,6 million on the back of profitability, the acquisition of additional stake in ZPI, revaluation of properties and change of functional currency.
Meanwhile, subsidiary CFI remains suspended from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, but its retail operations continued to register strong performance and profitability in the half year ended March 31, 2019.
With regards to the Emeritus International capital raise, the group is currently undertaking the identification and shortlisting of potential investors as well as obtaining the requisite Zimbabwean regulatory and shareholder approvals. The capital raise is expected to unlock the full potential of the regional operations in terms of growth and performance after competitive capital has been raised.
The group is still in discussions with Government with regards its investment in Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO).
Management has emphasised the group will focus on strategies to remain sustainable in a challenging environment, for instance, growing and strengthening the group balance sheet through mergers and acquisitions, exploiting group synergies, as well as sweating the existing assets to drive growth. The group will also look at operationalising and restructuring the private equity fund and make investments in key sectors of agriculture, tourism and financial services.
Mr Kumalo said: “With increasing fear of the re-emergence of hyperinflationary conditions in Zimbabwe and a volatile exchange rate, cost control and value preservation continue as key focus areas for the group.”
ZHL did not declare a dividend to preserve capital.