We have extracted the financial summary from the 2018 Annual Report of First Mutual Holdings, listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange under the share code FMHL.zw. It has a property management and development division and offers an actuarial consultancy service. Its main subsidiaries include: First Mutual Life, First Mutual Properties, First Mutual Health, TristarInsurance Company, First Mutual Wealth Management, First Mutual Reinsurance and FMRE Property & Casualty (Botswana). The company head office is in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The business achieved growth in revenue but experienced pressure in operating costs in line with developments in the country, particularly the last quarter of the year. The consolidated gross premium written (”GPW”) for the year, at $180.6 million, grew by 45% compared to 2017. The growth is a result of consolidating NDIL for the whole year compared to only one month in 2017, when it was acquired, as well as growth across all insurance segments. Consolidated rental income for the year, at $7.7 million, went up 19%. The positive movement is attributed to turnover rentals on retail space and an increase in occupancy on high value lettable space. Operating profit, a critical measure of the Group’s performance, went up by 37% to $11.1 million. NDIL contributed $2.4 million to the Group’s operating profit. Other Group companies contributed $8.7 million. The Group attained an investment income of $34.3 million for the year against an investment income of $32.9 million in 2017. The profit for the year was $17.6 million (2017: $12.2 million) due to the increase in operating profit and investment income as well as the positive fair value on investment property. The Group’s total assets increased by 17% to $392.3 million as at 31 December 2018 compared to $335.3 million as at 31 December 2017. The growth was driven by increases in listed equity values of $48.9 million and investment property of $8.7 million while debt securities at amortised cost declined by $9.6 million. Cash and balances with banks increased by $8.1 million due to cash generated from operations .
HEALTH INSURANCE First Mutual Health Company (Private) Limited (“FMHC”)
GPW for the year, at $62.3 million, grew by 11% compared to 2017, driven by organic growth on corporate clients and acquisition of new business. Membership increased from 118 590 at 31 December 2017 to 135 999. The claims ratio went down from 79.14% in 2017 to 77.87%. The business launched a new product, Micromed, on 14 December 2018 targeting low income earners.
NicozDiamond Insurance Company Limited (“NDIL”)
GPW, at $40.6 million, grew by 29% relative to prior year mainly due to organic growth, change in sum insured to match the foreign currency parallel market premiums in October 2018 and the recently launched Post Insurance business. The business managed to retain its portfolio in 2018. The claims ratio remained rooted at 51% in 2018 versus 2017. The operations of TristarInsurance have been merged with those of NDIL with effect from 1 January 2019.
GPW, at $6.5 million, was 33% ahead of 2017. The growth from prior period was driven by greater broker support, high success rate for recurring business and increased market confidence and the effects of new business initiatives launched in 2018.
The Group took constructive steps of implementing sustainability reporting using GRI standards as a strategy for identifying, managing and being transparent on our impact on society, the economy and the environment. We believe sustainability reporting will allow us to build strong shared values for long term value creation for our stakeholders. During the year, the Group produced the first sustainability report prepared in accordance with GRI Standards as a demonstration of our commitment to our sustainability values. The integration of sustainability in our operations is expected to continue with setting measurable targets, improving systems and developing capacity across the group.
Zimbabwe is expected to record GDP growth of 3.1% in 2019 owing to subdued performance in agriculture on account of erratic rainfall patterns and inconsistent access to foreign currency. The implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme launched in 2018 to operationalise Vision 2030 which targets Zimbabwe becoming a middle income country is expected to set the economy on a recovery path. The policy is premised on tackling macroeconomic problems, in particular the resolution of the foreign currency crisis as well as improving foreign direct investment and finding an acceptable plan to the foreign debt resolution. Furthermore, the Government’s ability to live within its means will be key in keeping a lid on inflationary pressures and cost of doing business. First Mutual is adopting various strategies to exploit opportunities arising from these Government initiatives. We enter 2019 in a position to increase investment in client-driven innovation and create efficiencies through operating model integration. This is expected to result in accelerated growth and free cash flow generation. We are excited about this next step and what it means for our clients and other stakeholder