South Africa MMI First-Half Profit Drops 33% as Stocks Decline

MMI Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s third-largest insurer, said fiscal first-half profit dropped 33 percent after the stock market declined.

Net income fell to 1.35 billion rand ($115 million) in the six months through December, from 1.8 billion rand a year earlier, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Profits from operating divisions increased 13 percent to 1.5 billion rand.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index fell 2 percent during the six months to December, compared with an increase of 17 percent a year earlier. MMI was formed in 2010 by the merger of Metropolitan Group Ltd. and Momentum Group Ltd.

Total earnings “were negatively impacted by the declining local equity market,” MMI said in the statement. “The group will increase focus on efficiencies, having identified specific cost-savings initiatives, while continuing to pursue top-line growth.”

MMI last year bought stock-broking firm Imara SP Reid (Pty) Ltd. for 120 million rand to take on more high-net-worth customers. The insurance group also sold debt in South Africa, entered into a partnership in India and bought a majority stake in Kenya’s Cannon Assurance Ltd.

MMI increased its first-half dividend 11 percent to 0.63 rand a share.

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