South Africa’s Santam flags FY profit jump, shares rise


South African short-term insurer Santam said on Tuesday it expects to post increased full-year profits, partly due to improved sales, sending its shares higher.

The unit of long-term insurer Sanlam flagged a rise of up to 30 percent in headline earnings per share (EPS) to 1,880 cents for the year to end December.

Headline EPS is the main profit measure used in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.

“The increase in headline EPS and EPS has been driven by significant improvements in both insurance and investment results compared to 2014,” the company said in a statement.

The group also said its solvency margin at end 2015 is expected to be above the upper end of its target range of 35-45 percent of net premiums.

Santam shares gained 7.5 percent to 200 rand a share by 1335 GMT, the highest level this year.

Santam, which is contributing $94 million to its parent’s $375 million purchase of a 30 percent stake in Morocco’s Saham Finances, said it will fund its share from internal cash resources. (Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by Joe Brock)


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