Liberty chief executive David Munro. 
Photo: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG  - Financial services and property holding company Liberty said on Friday operational improvements delivered in 2018 through the focus on key strategic priorities benefitted the business in the first quarter of 2019, notwithstanding the challenging socio-economic environment in South Africa.

It said SA Retail new business volumes remained under pressure, while the Liberty Corporate and Liberty Africa insurance businesses had seen an improvement in new business inflows. 

"Intense focus on addressing the mix of new business volumes and margin across all business lines is continuing, together with strict discipline in managing the expense base," Liberty Holdings added.

Favourable financial market conditions during the quarter contributed positively to returns from the shareholder investment portfolio, and the group remained well capitalised.

In SA Retail, indexed new business sales of R1.517 billion were one percent above the same quarter in 2018, while recurring premium new business sales were up four percent.

In the Stanlib South Africa business, assets under management amounted to R576 billion compared to R549 billion as at December 31.

"We expect the South African economic environment to remain subdued for most of 2019, however we remain confident that our focus is on the right areas of the business to create value for all stakeholders," Liberty said.

African News Agency (ANA)