“The results from the comparative period were negatively impacted by large negative basis changes and investment variances across the South African retail businesses and the rest of Africa. However, the strong growth in 2019 was also underpinned by a resilient operational performance in most business units, supported by efficiency improvements and good underwriting results,” the group said.
However, the group said this underlying growth was partly offset by an increase in the group's share of losses, in line with business plans, on new initiatives such as its health insurance joint venture in India.
The group said in a trading statement on Friday that, for the year to the end of June, it expected its Heps to increase by between 65 and 85percent, to be between 154cents and 172c a share, up from last year's Heps of 93c.
Its basic earnings per share (Eps) was also expected to grow by the same margins as the Heps, up by between 65 and 85 percent, to between 146c and 163c, up from 88c compared with last year.