Business Partners has a March year-end and therefore its results for the 12 months to 31 March 2019 have been equity accounted in Remgro’s results for the year under review. Headline earnings attributable to Remgro for the year under review amounted to R65 million (2018: R65 million).

Business Partners’ headline earnings for the twelve months ended 31 March 2019 amounted to R152 million (2018: R151 million), while profit attributable to shareholders decreased by 2.5% to R213 million. The decrease in profit is mainly due to a lower remeasurement gain on the investment property portfolio, consistent with declining capital appreciation in the real estate asset class.

The risk in the investment portfolio has decreased over the period. Investments with repayment obligations in arrear decreased from 21.4% of the investment portfolio at 31 March 2018 to 19.2% at 31 March 2019, a reflection of the adverse economic and difficult trading conditions experienced by SMEs.

During the year under review, funding for 308 (2018: 295) investment transactions amounting to R1 028 million (2018: R1 049 million) was approved.

In providing financial support to SME entrepreneurs, the company’s key development impact objective is the employment that is facilitated or unlocked by the capital provided. Business Partners facilitated 18 817 job opportunities during the year under review (2018: 11 601).