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Alexander Forbes posts profit

Johannesburg - Alexander Forbes, the South African retirement fund administrator that’s considering a share sale, returned to a full-year profit after expanding on the continent and selling an insurance business.

Net income was 395 million rand in the 12 months through March, after a loss of 191 million rand a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based firm said in a statement today.

Africa’s biggest pension-fund manager sold insurance unit Guardrisk in November for 1.6 billion rand to complete a restructuring.

Alexander Forbes reiterated that private-equity owners, including Actis, are considering an initial public offering, while looking at potential takeover offers.

“As previously announced, the shareholders are advised that the group is exploring various strategic options for maximising shareholder value, which includes a possible listing of the group by way of an initial public offering,” the company said in the statement.

“The group has recently also received expressions of interest from several parties to acquire the group.”

Alexander Forbes preference shares fell 1.1 percent to 9.35 rand as of 3:03 p.m. in Johannesburg.

The company said earnings were helped by a weaker rand and growth outside its home market.

“Our focus will continue to be on growing our retail and public sector offering and footprint in Africa beyond South Africa,” Alexander Forbes said.

“The group continues its stated strategy of focusing on and growing its core institutional employee benefits and asset management businesses.” - Bloomberg News

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