JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 9 (Reuters) – South Africa’s largest insurer Sanlam Ltd (SLMJ.J) on Thursday announced a 3% increase in its intermediate profits, at the lower end of its forecast range, as COVID-19 death claims have increased from 2020.
It said earnings per share – the country’s primary measure of profit – of 191.4 cents in six months as of June 30, down from 185.8 cents a year earlier, using a measure that excludes stocks held in portfolios policyholders or special purpose vehicles.
The insurer took advantage of factors such as stock market recovery and new business growth as people sought to save money and purchase life coverage during the pandemic, he added.
Its South African life and savings business, however, recorded R 1.4 billion ($ 98.60 million) in excess claims net of items, including reinsurance, and released R 1.25 billion of reserves for compensate for that.
The impact of a worse-than-expected third wave of infections in South Africa would be felt mainly in the second half of its fiscal year, he said.
Sanlam has taken action, including raising premium prices in response, and would start factoring in vaccination for the price of certain commodities later in the year.
The insurer was also set to make vaccination mandatory for all staff except a small handful who can work entirely from home, starting next year, chief executive Paul told Reuters. Hanratty.
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Sanlam said it was at an advanced stage of discussions to sell its UK life insurance business as well as divest its wealth management business in the country.
($ 1 = Rand 14.1983)
Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Rashmi Aich
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