Old Mutual Zimbabwe posted an inflation adjusted profit before tax for the year 2021 of ZWL$ 29.507 million, 212 percent ahead of prior year levels of $ ZWL$ 9.446 million thanks to increased premium income and fees which were largely driven by price reviews coupled with enhanced USD earnings.
During the year, the group realized an increase in USD volumes in the banking and general insurance businesses and also launched USD unit trust products for the asset management business in Q4 2021. This helped the group consolidate value amid the volatility of the ZWL.
A generally positive performance was also aided by higher investment returns of ZWL$ 73.683 million as capital markets growths drove gains.
According to the group chief executive officer, Samuel Matsekete, banking interest and similar income were higher driven by significant growth in the loan book. The business experienced growth in loan book with 63% of the book in USD currency.
“Loans and advances moved 142% up at ZWL$ 27,614 million driven by increased working capital requirements in the economy,” said Matsekete.
In the life insurance business, growth in policy holder funds driven by equities growth was above inflation following strong ZSE performance. Gross written premiums were 94 percent higher than prior year at ZWL$ 9, 337 million.
In the asset management business, a higher net client cash flow of ZWL$ 4.213 million was 322 percent above prior year.
Total assets reached ZWL$ 258.219 billion from ZWL$ 152.581 million aided by 122 percent growth in investments and securities of ZWL$ 140.745 million that were influenced by huge returns on listed equities.
Funds under management were 91 percent ahead of previous year at ZWL$ 245.791 million.
The group managed to established new correspondent banking relationships with Ecobank Paris and Bidvest Bank with a total of US$ 27.8 million being deployed into various investment projects in 2021.
“We launched first funeral parlour in Bulawayo and this is now set to be scaled up. Efforts are in progress to launch another funeral parlour in Harare,” said Matsekete.
Listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, the first Exchange Traded Fund returned 340 percent outperforming both the All-Share Index and the inflation benchmarks.
With regards to the relisting of the group on ZSE, Matsekete said engagements with relevant authorities were underway with a solution edging closer.
“There are engagements we have been having with authorities over listing Old Mutual Shares. Engagements are still on going. We believe we are closer to a solution but we are not yet in a position to say much regarding finalization of engagements that are underway.”
Old Mutual shares were suspended form trading on the ZSE in 2020 due to their fungibility which was being abused to externalize investments.