Sanlam First-Half Profit Drops 7% as S. Africa Economy Struggles

Sanlam Ltd., the largest South African-based insurer, said first-half profit fell 7 percent as the continent’s most-industrialized economy struggled to boost growth.

Earnings before one-time items and other adjustments declined to 4.26 billion rand ($305 million), or 2.08 rand a share, from 4.59 billion rand, or 2.24 rand a share, a year earlier, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement on Thursday. New business volumes rose 15 percent to 115 billion rand.

Sanlam operates in Africa, Europe, the U.K., U.S., India and Malaysia. It’s been expanding in African and Asian countries as it seeks to enter regions that may help boost profit because of slowing growth in its home market. In South Africa, inflation and interest rates are rising along with unemployment and rivals MMI Holdings Ltd. and Liberty Holdings Ltd. have also struggled to boost earnings in the past year.

“Economic conditions in the first six months of the 2016 financial year were not conducive to growth,” the company said.