JOHANNESBURG, March 9 Sanlam Ltd, South
Africa's biggest life insurer, reported a 6 percent decline in
annual profit on Thursday, dragged down by unfavourable currency
moves and weaker returns from the equity market.
Normalised headline earnings, a key profit measure that
strips out certain one-off items, came in at 8.4 billion rand
($638.79 million), or 408.5 cents per share, in the year to
end-December 2016, compared with 8.8 billion rand, or 432.5
cents per share, a year earlier.
Insurers in Africa's most advanced economy have been bulking
up their presence elsewhere in Africa to offset slowing growth
at home, but the continent's prospects have been dealt a blow by
a collapse in commodity prices.
"We expect the challenging operating environment and
economic climate to persist in 2017," Sanlam Chief Executive Ian
Kirk said in a statement.
Sanlam has operations in 11 African countries, India and
($1 = 13.1498 rand)
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)