Old Mutual offices in Sandton, north of Johannesburg. Its emerging markets arm will return to South Africa this year.
JOHANNESBURG - Funds under management at Old Mutual Zimbabwe have grown by 50percent to $2.7billion (R31.6bn), while after-tax profits for the year to the end of December grew 139percent to $219.3million. The company said the surge was attributable to increased exposure to ­Harare-listed entities and other non-banking operations.

The banking operation recorded a net surplus of 7percent of $42.1m, while gross premiums grew 5percent, bringing total revenue for the period to $991m.

“Funds under management (Fum) for the asset management business were up 50percent, from $1.8bn to $2.7bn, largely due to a combination of growth in net client cash flows generated and gains on ZSE-listed equity investments,” said board chairperson Johannes Gawaxab.

“As a result of the growth in Fum, fee income and profit ­before tax for the asset management business increased by 28percent and 64percent to $20.6m and $10.7m respectively.”

After-tax profits soared 139percent to $219.3m.

The company said there was strong operating profit across the business, as well as non-banking investment returns, which grew 448percent - from $116.9m to $640.9m.

The insurer also recorded higher profits from its life business, as well as increased long-term investment returns on the back of a higher asset base.

Gross premiums underwritten shot up 5percent at $194.8m for the life and short-term insurance businesses, because of “a combination of improved client retention and new business” underwritten for the ­period. However, the short-term insurance business achieved an underwriting ­margin that dropped from 18percent to 13percent.