Discovery performance boosts RMI figures


Specialist financial services investment holding company Rand Merchant Investment Holding (RMI) said it was boosted by Discovery's strong performance in its annual results presentation

Specialist financial services investment holding company Rand Merchant Investment Holding (RMI) said it was boosted by Discovery’s strong performance in its annual results presentation. The company recorded 26 percent growth in normalised earnings to R2,3 billion during the six months to December.


RMI reported a 24 percent increase in normalised headline earnings a share to 150.2 cents a share, from 121.5c. The board declared an interim dividend of 39c, down by 26 percent as compared with last year’s 53c an ordinary share.


Founded in 1977 by GT Ferreira, Laurie Dippenaar and Paul Harris, RMI take stakes in emerging and established financial services businesses, becoming long-term partners, who allow management teams the individuality to operate their businesses as owners. RMI consists of listed investments, which include Discovery, MMI and Hastings, and unlisted investments like OUTsurance, RMI Investment Managers and AlphaCode.


MMI recorded a 3 percent decrease in normalised earnings to R1.6 billion, constrained by weaker profitability and planned losses incurred during expansion initiatives. Outsurance reported a 28 percent increase in normalised earnings, including its stake in Hastings increased to R1.5 billion.


RMI chief executive Herman Bosman (pictured) said: “These results continue our growth trajectory and prove the resilience of our strategy of investing in businesses that can deliver superior earnings and dividend growth over the long term, as well as offer a balance between growth- and return-focused investments.


“Despite the macro-economic challenges experienced in all our markets, we managed to produce yet another set of solid results.”


RMI expects Discovery to continue on its growth trajectory, with well positioned established businesses, emerging ventures strengthening and four additional businesses coming online in 2018.  


“Hastings’ solid business model will continue to drive its track record of sustainable growth. MMI continues to refine its actions and decisions to improve delivery on its strategy and Outsurance is focused on delivering its growth objectives after maintaining targeted profitability against a period of slow top-line growth,” he said.


Outsurance CFO Jan Hofmeyr is a nominee in the 2018 CFO Awards. He took on the role in November 2007 at the age of 27 and has been instrumental in many of the insurance firm’s initiatives, including the recently announced Outvest FinTech investment service. Earlier this month, RMI acquired 353 535 36 shares in OUTsurance from Willem Roos for R350 million.


RMI also announced the retirement of chairman GT Ferreira. Deputy chairman Jannie Durand will replace Ferreira on the boards of RMI and Rand Merchant Bank Holdings.


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