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Saturday, September 1, 2007
Enjoying growth

Santam says it enjoyed “an excellent first half”, in respect of both underwriting and investment income. Its headline earnings of R927 million for the six months of this year to 30th June were 59% higher than the same period last year.

Ian Kirk, Santam’s Chief Executive who took over the reigns of the company in June, says that despite ongoing competition and the growth momentum of 2006, Santam achieved a 13% increase in gross written premiums during the period under review. International premiums increased by 36%, largely due to significant inflows in Santam Europe, while Westminster Motor Insurance Association (WMIA) also experienced healthy double-digit growth.
Santam “would continue to build on the strong base of healthy underwriting business and said it aims to continue to grow its market share without compromising sustainable profitability by maintaining higher margins than the long-term averages.
“Underwriting margins are expected to remain under pressure due to the softer market conditions both for commercial and personal lines. We are continuing to take corrective action in areas such as portfolio management, where profitability is not yet at acceptable levels. There is ongoing focus on optimising the return on capital generated by our international investments.”
The combined effect of all insurance activities resulted in a net insurance margin of 10.4% for the first half of the year compared to 6.2% for the same period in 2006.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:20.8 1st September, 2007
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