Rand Merchant Investment Profit Drops 15%

Rand Merchant Investment Holdings, a South African investor in insurance and fund-management companies, said first-half profit declined 15 percent after net finance costs increased and the domestic economy slowed.

Net income for the six months ended December fell to R1.55 billion ($101 million) from R1.8 billion a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Monday. Earnings per share excluding one-time items dropped 17 percent to R1.01 from R1.22 last year.

RMI was part of RMB Holdings, the holding company for Africa’s biggest bank by value, FirstRand, until it was unbundled in 2011. RMI has more than tripled in value since its debut on Johannesburg’s stock exchange in March of that year, making it one of the top 40 largest companies on the bourse with a market capitalisation of more than R60 billion.

RMI owns stakes in some of the country’s biggest insurers, including Discovery, MMI Holdings and OUTsurance Insurance Company and plans to increases holdings in fund management companies.

“Real growth in South Africa is likely to continue underperforming in the foreseeable future,” RMI said in the statement. “The South African economy is expected to continue to be impacted by muted gross domestic product growth and disposable income, a rising inflation and interest-rate cycle and fluctuating capital markets.”

Source – iol


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