Old Mutual Emerging Markets delivers credible performance in challenging economic environment

11 Aug 2017
Old Mutual Emerging Markets (“OMEM”) today reported pre-tax Adjusted Operating Profits of R6.0 billion for the six months ended 30 June 2017, an increase of 1% on the prior year. This reflects a turnaround in the Old Mutual Insure underwriting result, strong recovery of risk underwriting results in South Africa’s Corporate segment and improved results in East Africa.

Summary of OMEM Financial Results

  • Gross sales of R103.6 billion were broadly in line with 2016 (R103.7bn) and include a 10% decline in covered APE sales totalling R6.1 billion and non-covered sales of R72.4 billion, which were 1% up on prior year.
  • Net Client Cash Flow (NCCF) of R7.3 billion, although positive, was down on 2016 (R8.0 billion). This is a reflection of the uncertain economic environment.
  • Funds under management increased by 12% to R1.1 trillion since the 2016 year-end.
  • Strong and resilient capitalisation, converting 86% of profits to cash.

OMEM CEO Peter Moyo, who returned to head up the group in June 2017, said:

“This is a pleasing result given the challenging macro environment and flat, though volatile, equity markets. It is particularly good to see turnarounds in those parts of the business that have been the subject of management intervention. We continue to prepare OMEM for its independent future next year. It is clear that we have a great brand and the necessary building blocks which position us for growth.”

The South African business remains the engine of OMEM, delivering solid results in the current macroeconomic context.

  • Despite the material impact of the catastrophic events in the first half of 2017, the rebranded Old Mutual Insure (previously Mutual & Federal) delivered an underwriting margin of 2.3% following a significant turnaround in its underwriting result of R96 million (H1 2016: loss of R44 million).
  • Corporate profits grew 20% against the comparative period following pricing remediation and process improvements.
  • The Mass Foundation Cluster reported a 7% decline in profits, however this was due to significantly lower profits in Old Mutual Finance (OMF) following the implementation by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) of interest rate caps. Excluding OMF, profits were up 10%.
  • OMEM’s largest profit contributing segment, Retail Affluent, was down 7% on the prior year due to lower asset based fee income and lower annuity investment earnings against subdued markets.
  • Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG) saw a decline of 10% in profits, driven by lower transactional fee income and index hedging results at Old Mutual Specialised Finance (OMSFIN). Nevertheless, the one-year investment performance continues to improve, with multi asset funds delivering top quartile performance.

Outside of South Africa, OMEM remains confident of the market opportunities and is committed to doing businesses on the continent for the long-term.

  • The improved East Africa result of R69 million (H1 2016: R44 million) reflects better claims experience in the Property & Casualty business and lower new business strain in Kenya.
  • The Zimbabwean business continues to demonstrate resilience through particularly tough macro conditions. Although profits were down 5% in reported currency, in local currency profits were up 11% as earnings benefitted from the strong local equity market.

OMEM’s businesses in Latin America and Asia also continue to deliver growth and benefitted from higher investment returns.

Delivering on Managed Separation

Moyo said the OMEM business has recently reviewed its strategy to ensure it is ready to operate effectively as an independent listed entity.

“As we prepare to transition OMEM to its future as the principal operation of the new primary listed entity on the JSE, it is important that we structure ourselves around delivery and execution with a focus on the needs of the customer. I am excited that Mike Ilsley will join OMEM as Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) and CFO-designate of Old Mutual Limited (OML). A strengthened finance function will be critical to ensuring we meet the complex regulatory and reporting requirements that will be demanded of an independent, listed financial services firm.”

Iain Williamson, the current OMEM Finance Director, will take up the role of Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) and focus on a broader operational remit as part of the senior management team. Iain’s broad experience across the business and in the finance function along with valued, established relationships across the group will be critical in this role.

“The leadership changes also see the elevation to Exco of senior leaders with bottom line responsibility. Karabo Morule (MD: Personal Finance), Clarence Nethengwe (MD: Mass Foundation Cluster), and Clement Chinaka (MD: Corporate) are definitely capable of taking this business forward in its next phase,” added Moyo.

Looking ahead

“We are committed to maintaining our leading market share in the South African Mass and Corporate markets, while reclaiming our leadership position in the SA Personal Finance market.”

“We will continue to deliver on the turnaround strategy at Old Mutual Insure, which has made significant progress in the underwriting result. I am particularly pleased with the iWYZE turnaround and growth trajectory, achieving a positive result of R24 million (H1 2016: R70 million loss). The business is better positioned to collaborate with the rest of the group given its new direct link to the Old Mutual brand.”

“Outside of South Africa, the market opportunity on the continent is a long-term journey which we believe in and remain committed to.”

“We have the right strategy, a strong leadership team and a great business and brand, which position us well to compete in the markets within which we operate. We are confident we are structuring ourselves around delivery and execution as we ready ourselves to become an independent company”, concluded Moyo.