FMHL – Preliminary Unaudited Abridged Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2023

By Published On: May 30th, 2024Categories: Corporate announcement, Earnings

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

The business environment throughout 2023 was characterised by the continued depreciation of the Zimbabwe dollar(ZWL) coupled with increasing use of the US Dollar(USD) as a transacting currency . There were frequent and significant policy changes implemented by Government in order to support the local currency. Blended (USD and ZWL) annual inflation numbers were introduced and whilst accurately depicting the multi-currency environment, they could not be utilised for financial reporting purposes. As a result, stakeholders adopted the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) movement as a measure of the Zimbabwe dollar (ZWL) inflation in the preparation of ZWL financial statements.

The ZWL inflation, as estimated by the TCPL, was 380% for the year whilst the official ZWL:USD exchange rate movement was at 365%. This represented a local currency value loss of about 90%. Notwithstanding these macro-headwinds , an increasingly USD dollarised local economy saw Zimbabwe achieving GDP growth of 5.5%. The stable USD currency constituted the bulk of transactions in both the formal and informal sectors thereby allowing economic agents to trade profitably as well as hedge against the weakness of the local currency.

With the economy dollarising, the Group expanded its USD based product portfolio in sympathy with the macro-economic environment in order to remain relevant. On the investment side, the Group maintained its policy of investing in real asset centred on minimising the downside impact of ZWL high inflation. An increase in USD revenue has been translated into an increase in USD denominated investments.

FIRST MUTUAL LIFE FORENSIC INVESTIGATION

In January 2022 the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) instituted a forensic investigation on First Mutual Life Assurance Company (FML), a wholly owned subsidiary of First Mutual Holdings Limited (FMHL). The forensic investigation was in respect of the separation of assets between the policyholders and shareholder during the period 1 February 2009 to 31 December 2021. The investigation formally commenced on 5 September 2022 following the appointment of BDO Zimbabwe to conduct the exercise. On 10 May 2023 FML received a copy of the forensic investigation report from IPEC and submitted its response to the Ministry of Finance on 8 June 2023 in line with section 67(5) of the Insurance Act.

On 21 December 2023 FML received a Corrective Order from IPEC in relation to the BDO report. In order to protect FML’s legal rights an application for review of the Corrective Order was filed with the High Court. The institution of legal proceedings had become unavoidable to safeguard FML’s rights. FML eventually agreed a binding plan and the High Court applications by FML against IPEC were withdrawn by consent. The FML board and management are currently executing the agreed plan which should be concluded on or before 30 June 2024. Further details are provided in note 26 of this report.

IFRS 17 REPORTING

In May 2017 the International Reporting Standards Board issued a new accounting standard, the International Financial Reporting Standard 17 (IFRS 17). This standard replaced IFRS 4 – Insurance contracts on the accounting for insurance contracts effective 1 January 2023. It requires a company to measure insurance contracts using updated estimates and assumptions that reflect the timing of cash flows and any uncertainty relating to insurance contracts. This is expected to provide more transparent reporting on the financial position and risk of insurance businesses. For the period ended 31 December 2023, the Group’s financial highlights and performance have been analysed in line with the requirements of IFRS 17. Below are key lines that reflect some of the major changes from IFRS 4 to IFRS 17 being demonstrated:

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

In October 2019 the Public Accountants and Auditors Board concluded that the conditions for applying International Accounting Standard 29 (IAS 29) – Financial Reporting in Hyperinflation Economies had been met in Zimbabwe. The historical cost financial results have been restated to reflect changes in the purchasing power of the local currency during the year. Effective February 2023 the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTATS) ceased publishing the ZWL Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) and substituted them with the weighted average consumer price index also known as blended indices in line with the Statutory Instrument 27 of 2023. As a result of these pronouncements challenges from a financial reporting perspective arose as the weighted average consumer price index does not comply with the requirements and criteria set in (IAS) 29 – Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies which requires the use of a General Price Index (GPI) of the hyperinflationary currency (ZWL) as a basis of restatement.

For the year ended 31 December 2023 the Group has continued to apply IAS 29 – with the CPI estimated using the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) movement. The inflation adjusted financial results therefore represent the main financial statements with historical cost financials provided as supplementary information:

Comprehensive income highlights

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Statement of comprehensive income

Insurance contract revenue

The Insurance Contract Revenue (ICR) grew by 172%, in inflation adjusted terms, to $1.1 trillion for the year ended 31 December 2023 compared to prior year. In historical cost terms, an ICR growth to $503.3 billion was recorded, up 966% on prior year. The notable growth in comparison to the previous year was largely driven by the migration from ZWL policies to USD policies as well as continued revaluation of ZWL insurance policy values to ensure adequate cover. The actual USD business that was written by the Group for the twelve-month period constituted 74% of the total ICR, at USD98.4 million, a growth of 53% compared to a prior year figure of USD62.7 million.

Insurance service result

The insurance service result grew by 89% to $141.3 billion compared to the prior year in inflation adjusted terms. In historical cost terms there was an increase of 731% compared to the prior year figure of $6.7 billion. The growth was primarily due to the increase in insurance contract revenue.

Rental income and Investment return

Rental income grew by 199% to $39.1 billion compared to the prior year figure of $13.1 billion in inflation adjusted terms. In historical cost terms, a rise of 1,017% to $23.7 billion compared to the prior year was recorded. The growth arose from a migration to USD denominated leases as well as inflation driven adjustments on ZWL rentals. The occupancy levels stood at 76.7% compared to prior year of 85.52% and the average rental per square metre was US$5.29 compared to prior year of US$3.51. The overall Group net investment returns amounted to $41.8.million in inflation adjusted terms and $184.3 million in historical cost terms, representing an increase of 146% in hyperinflation adjusted terms and 1,860% above the prior year in historical terms. The positive investment out-turn was mainly due to fair value gains on the ZSE.

Profit for the period

For the year ended 31 December 2023 a consolidated profit for the year of $348.3 billion was achieved, representing growth of 285% relative to the prior year in inflation adjusted terms. In historical cost terms the profit rose by 1,108% to $583.2billion compared to the prior year. The growth was attributable to the increases in ICR, rental income, net fair value gains in investment properties as well as listed equities.

Statement of financial position

The consolidated total assets grew by 104% to $1.7 trillion in inflation adjusted terms and by 864% to $1.6 trillion in historical cost terms compared to 31 December 2022. The growth in both inflation adjusted, and historical cost terms principally arose from positive net fair value adjustments on investment properties and quoted and unquoted equities as well as the impact of the depreciation of the ZWL on USD denominated current assets, including cash and balances with banks.

In recent periods the investment properties have witnessed significant growth in both foreign currency and Zimbabwe dollar values largely due to higher real rental income. The ZWL continued to decline in comparison to the USD for the period under review which had an impact in the forward-looking information utilised in the valuations by property experts, hence the net fair value gains of $528.7 billion in inflation adjusted terms and $952.5 billion in historical cost terms. The total investment property value grew by 102% compared to last year in inflation adjusted terms and 862% in historical cost terms.

SUSTAINABILITY

The Group’s core objectives include providing economic dignity to its clients and stakeholders. During 2024 the Group will implement the newly introduced International Sustainability Standards IFRS S1 – General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information and IFRS S2 – Climate related disclosures which covers sustainability issues from a reporting perspective. These standards require in-depth analysis of the various sustainability practices within the Group and also seek to demonstrate the role of the Group’s sustainability strategy in the value creation process. Engagements with relevant consultants were underway during the second half of the year ended 31 December 2023.

In order to achieve the above objectives, the Group includes environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) aspects in its strategy formulation. FMHL has also laid out processes to ensure that the impact of sustainability is not only limited to core operations but also stretches to other areas of the business.

FIRST MUTUAL IN THE COMMUNITY

The First Mutual Holdings Limited corporate social responsibility programme continues to contribute to the mitigation of the widening gap experienced by disadvantaged families who are unable to afford the tuition and education-related costs for their children through the First Mutual Foundation.

The programme supports the attendance, retention, and transition from primary to secondary school as well as tertiary institutions for disadvantaged children. In the period under review ninety-eight children were provided with comprehensive educational assistance, including school fees and stationery packages while fifty-four of these ninety-eight also received uniforms. Ninety-three children were retained in primary and secondary schools with an average attendance rate of over 85% throughout the year. Twenty-eight students (three Grade 7, and twenty-one ‘O’ level, and four ‘A’ level candidates) sat for the national public examinations. One student transitioned to tertiary education, bringing the total to five students in tertiary education in 2023 with two of the students successfully completing their degree studies.

The Group is also contributing to the health sector through free wellness programmes and healthcare services including consultations, blood checks, diabetes testing, eye, dental and cancer screening, as well as community support through targeted sponsorships and donations to initiatives with a wide reach.

OUTLOOK

GDP growth has been revised downwards from 5.5% to 3.5% for 2024 owing to lower than anticipated output from the agricultural sector as a result of the drought. This may have a negative impact on the manufacturing sector. Despite the high local currency inflation and exchange rate volatility, the Group maintains a positive economic outlook. Growth is envisaged in the mining, tourism, retail, financial services and construction sectors. In addition, the consumer sector is expected to remain buoyant on the back of significant growth in tobacco exports and the continued rise in diaspora remittances notwithstanding the reported cost of living crisis in the diaspora. Risks threatening these opportunities will be tied to the policy environment as the Government will have to manage economic shocks that may arise from liquidity injections from grain purchases to close the gap arising from the El-Nino drought impact as well as treasury bill settlements in 2024.

The Group will continue to employ an agile strategy framework to navigate these emerging risks and utilise group synergies to respond to the macro-economic environment in the pursuit of profitable returns to its stakeholders.

DIRECTORATE

May I take this opportunity to thank Mrs Agnes Masiiwa who resigned after serving the Board diligently over the last 5 years. We wish her well in her new endeavours.

DIVIDEND

Notice is hereby given that the Board has declared a final dividend of US$1,000,000 payable in United States Dollars from the profits of the Company for the year ended 31 December 2023 which represents zero point one three six (0.136) United States cents per share. This dividend, when combined with the interim dividend of US$500,000 results in total dividends for the year of US$1,500,000. The dividend will be payable from the Company’s operating cashflows of the company for the year ended 31 December 2023 on or about 26 June 2024 to all shareholders of the Company registered at close of business on 21 June 2024. The shares of the Company will be traded cum-dividend on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange up to 18 June 2024 and ex-dividend as from 19 June 2024. The applicable shareholders’ tax will be deducted from the Gross Dividends. Shareholders are requested to submit / update their mailing and banking details with the Transfer Secretaries to enable the payment of their dividends.

Regarding the dividend, the FMHL Board acknowledges that there is a potential payout that may be due from FML in pursuance of the settlement agreement with IPEC. Further, notwithstanding the potential payout, the Board of Directors of FMHL is satisfied that it is reasonable and prudent to declare a dividend in the circumstances. The company will remain in sound financial health after payment of the dividend and should it be called to make a financial settlement contemplated under the settlement agreement between FML and IPEC.

APPRECIATION

On behalf of the Board, I would like to express my gratitude to our clients and stakeholders for their invaluable support. I also wish to extend my sincere appreciation to all our Group staff at home and in the region, management and subsidiary business directors for their commitment to serve our clients and ensuring that the Group continues to adapt and operate sustainably in a challenging and changing environment in Zimbabwe and in the region. I wish to express my heartfelt indebtedness to my fellow board members for their diligence and continued support, their valuable advise, insight and guidance to management as we pursue the realisation of the Group’s strategy.

Amos Manzai
Chairman
18 March 2024


FMHL – Preliminary Unaudited Abridged Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2023.pdf

FMHL – Short Form 2023 Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2023.pdf

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