Johannesburg - The country's biggest short-term insurer, Santam [JSE:SNT] on Wednesday reported that diluted headline earnings per share for the year ended December had increased from 582c to 889c.
Diluted headline earnings from continuing operations increased from 618c to 889c.
Santam said that after a challenging first half, it had experienced a significantly better second half. This resulted in a pleasing overall performance for 2009 against the backdrop of the difficult economic climate and underwriting conditions.
In line with the industry as a whole, underwriting margins came under considerable pressure, particularly in the first six months. Investment returns improved on firmer equity markets, especially when viewed against the poor performance in 2008.
The group delivered significantly improved earnings, with headline earnings of R1.022bn - up 55% on 2008. This equated to headline earnings per share of 906c compared to 586c in the prior year.
"Growth of 6% in gross written premiums was a credible achievement in the economic climate, comparing favourably with the industry. While positive growth was achieved across most classes of business, achieving an appropriate rate for the risk insured remained a challenge," the group stated.
- I-Net Bridge