BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
Zimre Holdings Limited (ZHL) recorded a profit of ZWL $2,8 billion (2020:ZWL$1.6 billion) not withstanding that insurance benefits and claims ballooned by over 100%.
Rental income contributed 3% of the Group’s total income at ZWL$294 million from ZWL$144,1 million in the prior year.
The increase was despite disparities in growth of investment property values and rental income as well as a direct consequence of the anticipated cost saving from de-listing the Group’s property arm.
“ The Group recorded a profit of ZWL $2.8 billion (2020:ZWL1.6 billion) despite insurance benefits and claims increasing by 107% and operating and administrative expenses growing by 502%, a demonstration of the resilience of the Group’s strategy and resourcefulness of its team,” Zimre Chairman Benjamin Khumalo said in a statement accompanying the results.
The ZHL Group was able to generate ZWL10.6 billion in total income, a 137% growth from the prior year. Gross Premium Written (GPW) increased from ZWL3.4 billion to ZWL5.2 billion, a 53% growth from prior year.
“Concerted effort was given to implementing appropriate responses to the pandemic. These responses included robust initiatives to investments, resulting in notable growth in investment income of 269% to ZWL$171.6 million. Also among the key responses was prudent and tough decisions on costs given both the pandemic and inflation in Zimbabwe. Total Expenses were therefore ZWL$6.44 billion being a 186% increase from prior year and the cost to income ratio dropped from 50% to 41%, a creditable performance given the circumstances,” Khumalo said.
The Group acknowledges the difficult operating environment.
Notwithstanding, the Group will continue to pursue its new DNA of being a Financial Services Group with core competencies in Insurance, Property and Wealth Management.
The strategy will be anchored by robust investment initiatives, continued consolidation of operations to capitalise on economies of scale while eliminating duplication of costs, and exploring strategic partnerships both locally and regionally to enhance its market presence.
Following the consolidation of the Group’s heartland investments, the Group will be developing an over arching and formalised policy to Environmental, Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance.
The policy will encourage the sharing of ideas to ensure that best practices are implemented in a coordinated manner across all the operations to create sustainable economic value.
The new consolidated structure has also made culture a real focus of the Group.
“The Group, has therefore adopted a uniform culture that builds on the opportunities of 2020, to align the organisational purpose, strategic values and leadership behaviours. The culture transformation is expected to result in a positive effect on the Group employees and in turn its success,” Khumalo said.