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Sanlam profit growth lags consensus

Mar 07 2013 12:21 Reuters

Sanlam CEO Johan Van Zyl.

Company Data

Sanlam Limited [JSE:SLM]

Last traded 56.14
Change 0.82
% Change 0.01
Cumulative volume 1593084
Market cap 121.63bn

Last Updated: 24/04/2014 at 12:54. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

Santam Limited [JSE:SNT]

Last traded 202.00
Change 4
% Change 0.02
Cumulative volume 8036
Market cap 24.11bn

Last Updated: 24/04/2014 at 12:43. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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Johannesburg - Insurer Sanlam [JSE:SLM], reported a smaller-than-expected 15% rise in full-year profit on Thursday as consumers refrained from taking up new policies.

But shares in Sanlam rose about 1% after the Cape Town-based company declared a forecast-beating dividend and a special dividend.

Sanlam said diluted headline earnings per share totalled 287 cents in the year to end-December, from 250c a year earlier.

That was well below the 298c in a Thomson Reuters StarMine estimate, which gives more weight to top-ranked analysts.

South African insurers are struggling to write new policies as unemployment, high personal debt levels and a tentative economic growth eat into consumers' deposable income.

But a rally in domestic equity and bond markets over the last year, which boosts fees earned on assets under their management, has helped them maintain some growth.

Sanlam, which owns a controlling stake in domestic short term insurer Santam [JSE:SNT], lifted its annual dividend by 27% to 165c per share and said it would pay an additional 50c in a special dividend.

StarMine had predicted a dividend payout of 16c per share.

“The five pillars that underpin our strategy continue to yield good results for us and we will continue to pursue this focus going forward in order to sustain our performance and grow shareholder value while treating customers fairly,” said Sanlam CEO Johan van Zyl.

 The company's stock picked up 0.7% to R48.04 by 09:16 GMT, largely in line with the JSE Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] index. 

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