Old Mutual said on Friday its adjusted headline earnings for the six months ended June were at 112.3 cents per share. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Pan-African investment, savings, insurance, and banking group Old Mutual said on Friday its adjusted headline earnings for the six months ended June were at 112.3 cents per share, in line with the same period last year.

Old Mutual declared an interim dividend of 45 cents per share, representing 40 percent of adjusted headline earnings.

Old Mutual Limited listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on June 26, with secondary listings also taking place on the same day in the United Kingdom, Namibia, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The company said persistently high unemployment rates, a valued added tax increase and fuel hikes had contributed to lower real disposable incomes for South African consumers, adversely affecting its customer acquisition and persistency, especially in the middle income market.

"The economic outlook has however improved relative to a year ago, when political uncertainty prevailed and credit downgrades led to an even weaker operating environment," it said.

In Zimbabwe, the economy continued to recover from weak investor confidence, policy instability and a liquidity crisis. Political uncertainty remained a concern and contributed to the volatility experienced in the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange, affecting Old Mutual's investment returns.

It was too early to tell whether the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa could implement the structural and political reforms required to improve the economic and social conditions of the country.

Kenya’s economy reflected a more stable political landscape though Old Mutual's investment returns there were still negatively affected by the volatility experienced towards the end of 2017.

Nigeria and Ghana benefited from rising oil prices, which led to a moderate economic recovery in the West African region, it said.

- African News Agency (ANA)