Contribution to headline earnings 30 June
2021
R million
30 June
2020
R million
RMI 898 599
Business Partners 23 25
921 624

Profile:

RMI takes stakes in emerging and established financial services businesses, becoming long-term partners who allow management teams the individuality to operate their businesses as owners.

Corporate information

Market cap at 30 June 2021 R48 007 million
Listed on the JSE Limited
Chief Executive Officer H L Bosman
Remgro nominated directors J J Durand, F Knoetze (alternate)

Sustainability measures

RMI is an investment holding company. Refer to the websites of major underlying investments.
Financial highlights Year ended 30 June 2021 
R million 
Income 19 019 15.4
Headline earnings 2 929 49.7
Normalised headline earnings 3 545 14.9

Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Limited (RMI)

RMI’s contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings increased by 49.9% to R898 million (2020: R599 million).

The underlying investments of RMI (with percentage interest in brackets) include Discovery (24.8%), Momentum Metropolitan (26.8%), OUTsurance (89.1%), Hastings (30.0%), RMI Investment Managers (100%) and AlphaCode (100%).

Discovery is a South African-founded diversified financial services organisation that operates in health insurance, life insurance, long-term savings and investments, short-term and commercial insurance, banking, and behaviour-change programmes. Since inception more than two decades ago, it has been guided by their core purpose, which has manifested in a globally recognised shared value insurance model underpinned by a leading behaviour-change platform, Vitality, which has been exported to 22 countries, reaching more than 46 million lives.

Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited (Momentum Metropolitan) is a South Africa-based financial services group listed on the Johannesburg and Namibian Stock Exchanges. Momentum Metropolitan conducts its business through operating brands Metropolitan, Momentum, Guardrisk and Eris Properties. Momentum Metropolitan offers the following products and services for both individuals and companies (including institutions and organisations): Long and short- term insurance, employee benefits including healthcare and retirement provision, asset management, property management, investments and savings, healthcare administration and health risk management, client engagement solutions, including the Momentum Multiply wellness and rewards programme.

OUTsurance underwrites short-term insurance products in South Africa, Australia and Namibia. OUTsurance Life and OUTvest offer life and investment products to the South African market. OUTsurance’s core purpose is to offer their customers value-for-money products backed by leading customer service and underpinned by trust. This purpose is enabled by a focus on operational excellence, technology and a unique entrepreneurial business culture. OUTsurance holds a significant interest in Hastings Group Holdings Limited, a United Kingdom based motor insurer. Hastings Group is an agile, data and digitally focused general insurance provider to the UK car, van, bike and home insurance markets.

RMI Investment Managers’ affiliate model enables the company to access a differentiated part of the investment management industry by investing in and partnering with independent investment managers, as well as specialist investment teams.

RMI’s operating environment during the 2021 financial year was once again dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with elevated mortality experience impacting materially on the group’s life insurance operations. Notwithstanding the adverse impact of Covid-19, the group delivered a strong overall operational performance, with pleasing growth in normalised earnings being achieved by OUTsurance and Hastings, its two large short-term insurance investments. This, together with the positive impact of the lower interest rate environment on the group’s funding costs and excellent performance by RMI Investment Managers, enabled the group to deliver a 15% increase in normalised earnings to R3 545 million (2020: R3 086 million).

RMI believes that normalised earnings more accurately reflect operational performance, and therefore headline earnings are adjusted to take into account non-recurring items and accounting anomalies.

RMI’s normalised earnings increase was mainly due to Hastings’ earnings increasing by 20% from R486 million to R585 million, OUTsurance’s earnings increasing from R2 008 million to R2 296 million and RMI Investment Managers and AlphaCode investments from a loss of R10 million to a profit of R142 million. Lower normalised earnings were earned by Discovery R850 million (2020: R993 million) and Momentum Metropolitan R269 million (2020: R407 million).

Discovery’s normalised earnings decreased by 9% to R3.4 billion for the year ended 30 June 2021, mainly due to a negative R2.4 billion Covid-19-related impact on Discovery Life and pre-tax foreign currency losses of R389 million compared to pre-tax foreign currency gains of R578 million included in the comparative year.

Normalised earnings from Hastings increased by 20% to R2.1 billion for the year ended 30 June 2021. The claims ratio for the six months ended 30 June 2021 was 63.4%, compared to 75.6% in the comparative period. Claims frequencies increased from the lows in 2020 but remain below 2019 levels as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Live customer policies increased by 4% year on year to 3.1 million policies with continued strong retention ratios and stable retail income. Home insurance policies increased by 27% to 300 000 in-force policies.

Momentum Metropolitan recorded a 34% decrease in diluted normalised earnings to R1.0 billion for the year under review. This was largely attributable to the prolonged negative impact that Covid-19 had on mortality claims experience, including the anticipated impact of the ongoing third and possible fourth wave in the 2022 financial year. The group increased its Covid-19 provision by R2.2 billion in the 2021 financial year, of which R2.1 billion related to mortality. Together with a R702 million negative mortality variance, total mortality losses amounted to R2.8 billion.

OUTsurance’s normalised earnings increased by 14% to R2.5 billion, driven by strong equity market returns and an excellent 18% increase in gross written premiums to R20.6 billion. Youi contributed most to the gross written premium growth due to good organic growth in the direct personal lines operation coupled with the positive contributions from the Youi CTP and Youi BZI initiatives. Premium growth at OUTsurance Life was aided by the Shoprite partnership which commenced in May 2020.

RMI Investment Managers is in its fifth year of partnering a select group of independent South African boutique asset management firms. Despite the extremely difficult operating environment, the affiliates managed to remain resilient during these turbulent times. Pleasingly, the diversified nature of the affiliate portfolio and asset classes represented, demonstrated its value and resulted in better than expected financial performance on the back of good assets under management (AUM) growth and strong performance fee earnings. Assets under management increased by 24% over the 2021 financial year due to the strong bull market in SA equities (+25.1%), global equities (+16.5%) and SA bonds (+13.7%). Total net inflows across the portfolio amounted to R5 billion for the year, resulting in a total increase of 37% in retail AUM (R51 billion at the end of the reporting period), whereas alternative strategies (hedge fund and private equity) increased by 38% as at 30 June 2021 with R35 billion under management.

Profile:

Business Partners is principally engaged in investing capital, knowledge and skill in viable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The company invests in SMEs by providing funding, support and mentoring to entrepreneurs.

Corporate information

Market cap at 30 June 2021 R2 887 million
Unlisted
Chief Executive Officer B Bierman
Remgro nominated directors C W Ceasar, M Lubbe, N J Williams

Sustainability measures

CSI/Training spend R7 million
Number of employees 265
BBBEE status Level 4
Financial highlights Year ended 31 March 2021 
R million 
Revenue 471 (4.8)
Operating profit 137 71.3
Headline earnings 52 (11.9)

Business Partners Limited (Business Partners)

Business Partners has a March year-end and therefore its results for the 12 months to 31 March 2021 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 R23 million (2020: R25 million).

Business Partners’ headline earnings for the 12 months ended 31 March 2021 amounted to R52 million (2020: R59 million), while profit attributable to shareholders increased by 77.4% from R53 million to R94 million. The increase in profit is mainly due to an increase in investment income and realisation gains.

The investment property portfolio has shown signs of recovering, with vacancies decreasing and rent collection improving in the last quarter. Considering the continued negative impact of Covid-19 on medium-term improvements in rental rates and occupancy, the increase in value of the portfolio amounted to 1.5% (R24 million), well below the inflation rate. The adjustment in the prior year – a devaluation of R64 million incorporated the negative effects of Covid-19 over the medium term.

This positive value increase contributed to the improvement in investment income and gains from R11 million in the prior year to R65 million for the current year.

The average interest rate for the year decreased by 300 basis points and contributed to a 20.9% decline in net interest revenue. Net property revenue decreased by 17.4%, largely the consequence of increased vacancies as well as the effects of rental relief provided to clients. Total income decreased from R495 million to R471 million; a decrease of 4.9% year on year.

With economic recovery taking longer than initially expected, SMEs continued to suffer the effects of the pandemic through further lockdowns in the third quarter, restrictions on travel and the added disruption of intermittent electricity supply. These headwinds were evidenced in the increased credit risk of the portfolio requiring an additional impairment charge of R79 million, an increase in the impairment percentage from 12.4% to 15.5% of the gross portfolio value.

Net credit losses for the Group decreased by 34.2% to R97 million (2020: R148 million). Bad debts written off decreased by 62.7% from R94 million in the prior year to R35 million.