|Contribution to headline earnings||30 June
OUTsurance Group is a group of leading insurance and financial services providers, operating in two key markets. In South Africa, OUTsurance offers car, home, business, life, funeral and pet insurance, as well as investment services. In Australia, Youi provides car, home, business and CTP (compulsory third party) insurance.
|FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS||Year ended
30 June 2023
|Headline earnings||2 898||11.5|
|Normalised headline earnings||2 875||(2.7)|
|Normalised headline earnings from continuing operations||2 875||62.2|
OUTsurance Group Limited (OUTsurance Group)
OUTsurance Group’s contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings increased by 11.6% to R888 million (2022: R796 million). During the 2022 financial year OUTsurance Group unbundled its investments in Discovery and Momentum Metropolitan (the OUTsurance Group unbundling), as well as disposed of its investment in Hastings. As a result, these investments were only equity accounted until 8 December 2021, the date on which the investment in Hastings was disposed of and the OUTsurance Group unbundling became highly probable. The results for the year under review is therefore not comparable with the prior year.
Remgro’s portion of OUTsurance Group’s headline earnings from continuing operations increased by 99.6% to R888 million (2022: R445 million), which excludes the contributions of Discovery, Momentum Metropolitan and Hastings. On a normalised basis, which excludes certain anomalies, OUTsurance Group reported an increase of 62.2% in earnings from continuing operations. This increase is mainly due to higher earnings from OUTsurance Holdings Limited (OUTsurance), the most significant remaining asset in OUTsurance Group, and lower funding costs as the Hastings proceeds were utilised to settle OUTsurance Group’s debt in the prior year.
OUTsurance Group is the listed entity in which Remgro has a 30.6% interest. OUTsurance Group in turn owns 89.8% of OUTsurance Holdings which, in turn, holds 100% interest in the below business units.
The primary business of OUTsurance Group is:
|OUTsurance||South African short-term insurance operation which comprises of OUTsurance Personal and OUTsurance Business|
|OUTsurance Life||South African life insurance operation that includes underwritten and funeral products|
|OUTsurance Ireland||Planned personal lines property and casualty insurance start-up in the Republic of Ireland|
|Youi Group||Australian short-term insurance operation|
OUTsurance’s gross written premium increased by 8.8% to R11 160 million (2022: R10 253 million), due to accelerating premium inflation which follows from a higher general inflation environment. Real growth in the OUTsurance Personal and the direct OUTsurance Business segments were challenging against a difficult South African economic backdrop characterised by rising interest rates and limited economic growth. The claims performance for the year was impacted by the effects of increased load shedding hours, a normalisation of motor claims frequencies to pre-pandemic levels, rising reinsurance costs, increasing motor theft experience and rising claims repair costs. OUTsurance exercised proactive pricing discipline to maintain profit margins.
OUTsurance Life delivered gross written premium growth of 17.8% to R940 million (2022: R798 million) with the funeral segment’s gross written premium growing by 49.6%. The funeral segment continued to deliver positive results with the Shoprite Funeral initiative gaining significant traction and delivering a substantial increase in profitability. A key strategic decision made during June 2023 was to discontinue the face-to-face distribution channel established in July 2021. The face-to-face initiative delivered a loss of R93 million compared to R68 million in the prior year. With a discontinuation of this channel, the loss is expected to be extinguished in the next financial year. The embedded value of OUTsurance Life improved by 17.5%, primarily on account of the growth in the funeral book.
Youi delivered a pleasing financial and operational result for the year as strong premium growth continued and favourable weather conditions supported the significant increase in profitability. The gross written premium increased by 31.4% to R16 399 million (2022: R12 481 million). In Australian dollar it was up 21.5%. Premium inflation accelerated sharply since the latter part of the 2022 financial year. The higher premium inflation is attributed to rising claims repair costs, pricing changes to reflect the increased frequency of natural events and catering for the effects of the hardening reinsurance market. The claims ratio decreased significantly from 60.8% in the prior year to 56.4% in 2023. This reduction is primarily attributed to the contrasting weather conditions experienced between the two financial years. On average the rand was 13.3% weaker against the Australian dollar in 2023 which bolstered the translated impact of Youi’s premium growth and profitability.
Youi’s operations consist of: Youi Direct which is the personal lines direct offering and the largest component of the Youi Group. The Blue Zebra Insurance partnership is a Managing General Agent in the Australian market and distributes products through a broker network and the Steadfast platform. CTP products to cover third-party bodily injury liability in which Youi participates in the New South Wales (since December 2020) and South Australia (since July 2022).
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.
|FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS||Year ended
31 March 2023
|Normalised headline earnings||164||3.8|
Business Partners Limited (Business Partners)
Business Partners has a March year-end and therefore its results for the 12 months to 31 March 2023 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 R72 million (2022: R70 million).
Business Partners’ headline earnings for the 12 months ended 31 March 2023 amounted to R164 million (2022: R158 million), while profit attributable to shareholders decreased by 4.3% from R258 million to R247 million. Despite the challenges faced in the South African economic and operating environment, the performance of the company remains robust due to the high-interest rate environment, and remarkable resilience demonstrated by its clients, along with its cost management initiatives.
Lower deal activity levels affected the growth of the company’s loan book, a key asset reflected on its balance sheet. Adverse macroeconomic conditions, combined with subdued SME appetite for business expansion, contributed to the decline in deal activity. However, its diligent adherence to business processes and rigorous risk management practices allowed the company to maintain credit risk at an optimal level in the economic environment.
Business Partner’s property portfolio, its second-largest asset class, demonstrated improved performance through a steady recovery in property values and rental market activity. This positive trend is particularly evident in the small to medium industrial sector, which experienced a growing demand for smaller distribution centres driven by the increasing popularity of online shopping and hybrid working arrangements.
The fair value adjustment of the property portfolio increased to R61.5 million (2022: R34.1 million). Rental income and recoveries generated by a largely industrial property portfolio were also strong, but vacancies remained under pressure.
Business Partners remains optimistic about the prospects of its property portfolio and will continue to leverage its strong position in the industrial sector and capitalise on the evolving dynamics of the real estate market.
Business Partners secured a R600 million loan facility from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for its green building initiative, in which it finances green buildings and its certification thereof. This initiative is gaining traction with support from the IFC and its partners on the programme.