The group said that during the period, it had finalised its black economic empowerment transaction with Women Investment Portfolio Holdings for a 25.1percent stake.
It said it had strengthened its leadership team by appointing Michael Sassoon as the chief executive in January and recruiting Angela Pillay as financial director. Another key appointment was Erol Zeki in the role of chief executive for Sasfin Wealth.
Sassoon said the changes and the restructuring that took place last year were expected to propel the group going forward.
He said the group had devolved more decision-making to drive a culture of ownership and accountability.
“The group has also strengthened the board with the appointments of Gloria Serobe, Gugu Dingaan, Gugu Mtetwa, Shaun Rosenthal and Richard Buchholz as non-executive directors,” Sassoon said.
Sasfin has three divisions: Sasfin Wealth, Sasfin Bank and Sasfin Capital. Before the group restructured, it consisted of four divisions.
The company said it was investing further in innovation and digitisation, including the rollout of its new digital banking offering to small businesses and individuals, as well as digitally enabled wealth management products and services.
On Tuesday, Sasfin reported a 41.81percent decline in headline earnings per share to 157.95cents a share for the six months to December, down from 271.42c recorded during the corresponding period last year.
Sassoon said the decline was a result of a single credit impairment from a client.
“The second reason was a change in the accounting estimate of certain deferred tax assets and a change in the group’s estimate of a deferred tax liability,” Sassoon said. “Both these items were once off, and they are not going to impact us in the future.”
Sassoon said the group expected trading conditions to remain challenging in the second half of the financial year.
He said the company was, however, encouraged by the political situation in the country and remained hopeful that the credit environment would improve.
“We believe that our strong balance sheet, good brand and diversified product offering, together with the investment we are making in human capital and technology, will position Sasfin well in the medium term.
“We expect that these efforts, together with our renewed focus on revenue growth, active management of our credit portfolio and cost management, will result in long-term shareholder value creation,” Sassoon said.
Sasfin shares declined 3.84percent to close at R46.88 on the JSE on Tuesday.
- BUSINESS REPORT