CEO confident despite Alexander Forbes' earnings hit

Financial services group Alexander Forbes has reported a 16,8 percent decline in headline earnings per share of 44,4 cents per share.

Financial services group Alexander Forbes has reported a 16,8 percent decline in headline earnings per share of 44,4 cents per share for the financial year ended 31 March 2018, due largely to the disposal of Lane Clark & Peacock in December 2016. This was despite five percent growth in operating income net of direct expenses to R3,6 billion, with strong top-line performance across key growth business segments.

Monday’s results included a new structure in which Alexander Forbes splits itself into four divisions. The largest is institutional clients, which grew operating income by 8 percent to R1.9 billion and operating profit by 23 percent to R616m. Its retail clients division grew operating income by 4 percent to R1.4 billion, but operating profit remained flat at R507 million. Its emerging markets division grew operating income by 3.7 percent to R250 millon, while operating profit declined 11 percent to R31 million. The administration division’s contribution to operating income declined 15 percent to R143 million, while its profit contribution remained zero.

Group CEO Andrew Darfoor said that the results were a sign of tangible progress across key areas aligned to the group's Ambition 2022 strategy. He said:

"This is reflected in improved operating performance across key group metrics, sustained delivery of operating leverage alongside improved shareholder returns as evidenced by a further dividend increase and a 21,9% shareholder return for the year... Despite headwinds from macroeconomic and political uncertainty across our markets, we are starting to deliver better and more consistent results for our customers and investors."

Established in 1935 and listed on the JSE in 2014, Alexander Forbes provides professional financial advice and financial products to individuals, businesses and institutions. The company is headquartered in Sandton and has interests in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Naidene Ford-Hoon (pictured) was appointed Group Chief Financial Officer of Alexander Forbes Group Holdings on 1 September 2017. Prior to this, she was Group CFO of the South African Reserve Bank from 2010 to 2017. She was responsible for the group’s financial reporting and insurance portfolio and the bank’s budget, procurement, payroll, banking services and retirement fund administration.