File image: Chief executive David Munro of Liberty Holdings.

JOHANNESBURG - Chief executive David Munro said the group’s results reflected difficult market conditions and the challenges it faced as a business.

“While these results are disappointing, our sales volumes and net cash inflows are showing positive growth, highlighting the strength of our brand, the value customers see in what we offer and the power of our sales and distribution team,” Munro said.

The share price closed 6.04% down at R105.52.

The financial services group cited weak economic growth in South Africa as part of the reason for a decline in its business during the six months to June.

“The downgrade in the country’s sovereign credit rating, the current socio-political environment and rising unemployment levels continued to place pressure on consumer disposable income,” the group said.

These difficult operating conditions and certain operational issues resulted in a decline in headline earnings compared with the six months to end June 2016. Normalised headline earnings per share of 456.7cents a share were down 29.74% from the prior period, while headline earnings declined 15% to R1.54bn from R1.81bn.

Despite the challenges, the group remained positive about the future.