ZimRe Holdings Limited (ZIMR.zw) 2021 Annual Report
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2021
It is my pleasure to present the Zimre Holdings Limited (ZHL) Group Financial Results for the year ended 31 December 2021.
In 2020 we spoke of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic unaware of the depth and length of the resultant economic downturn. Although, ZHL successfully consolidated its heartland investments in 2020, it was not immune to the grim global outlook of 2021. Accordingly, ZHL took 2021 as a reflective year to ensure that its new consolidated Group structure could withstand and respond to the new normal being forged by the pandemic.
Following the easing of lockdown restrictions and the increase in vaccine uptake, especially in the 2nd Half of 2021, the operating environment in Zimbabwe was fairly stable, registering economic growth of 7.8% largely anchored by Agriculture, Mining, Manufacturing, Construction, Accommodation and Food Services. The growth was also supported by a sustained reduction in year-on-year inflation with consumer inflation closing the year at 60.7% compared to 348.6% as at 31 December 2020.
Additionally, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Foreign Exchange Auction Trading System recorded a 33% depreciation of the local currency, closing the year at USD1:ZWL108.7.
The Botswana economy grew by 9% in 2021 despite being faced with rising inflation like its regional neighbours. The country’s economy remains heavily reliant on diamond sales which rebounded in 2021 whilst the tourism sector remained depressed due to travel restrictions.
The Malawi Government outlined that the economy remained depressed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has put in place a 10 year plan in order to revive the economy with the main pillar being Agriculture. The economy grew by 3% in 2021.
The new government of Zambia which was ushered in 2021, projected a 3.3% GDP growth in 2021 due to favourable performance in the Agriculture, Energy, Construction, and Information and Communication Technology sectors. The country recorded reduced Copper earnings by the end of December 2021 which remains the country’s main foreign currency earner.
Following an economic contraction like its regional counterparts in 2020, Mozambique resumed its economic growth to 2.2% in 2021. The government’s fight against jihadists in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province posed as downside risk to exploration projects and prospects slowed down in 2021.
The Directors of ZHL are responsible for the preparation and presentation of the Group’s Consolidated Financial Statements.
The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), except for non-compliance with International Accounting Standard (“IAS”)21, ‘The Effects of changes in Foreign Exchange rates and consequently IAS 29, ‘Financial Reporting In Hyper-Inflationary Economies’.
Notwithstanding, the ZHL Financial Statements are compliant with the Companies and Other Business Entities Act [Chapter 24:31] and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (“ZSE”) Listing Zimre Holdings Limited Annual Report 2021 Requirements. There were no changes to the principal accounting policies of the Group compared to those applied in the previous years. The Board, therefore, advises users to exercise caution in the interpretation of these financial statements.
Inflation adjusted financial performance
As a result of the new Group structure, the ZHL Group was able to generate ZWL10.6 billion in total income, a 137% growth from the prior year. Gross Premium Written (GPW) increased from ZWL3.4 billion to ZWL5.2 billion, a 53% growth from prior year. Rental income contributed 3% of the Group’s total income at ZWL294 million from ZWL144.1 million in the prior year. The increase was in spite of disparities in growth of investment property values and rental income as well as a direct consequence of the anticipated cost saving from de-listing the Group’s property arm.
In its year of reflection, concerted effort was given to implementing appropriate responses to the pandemic.
These responses included robust initiatives to investments, resulting in notable growth in investment income of 270% to ZWL171.6 million. Also among the key responses was prudent and tough decisions on costs given both the pandemic and inflation in Zimbabwe. Total Expenses were therefore ZWL6.44 billion being a 186% increase from prior year and the cost to income ratio dropped from 50% to 41%, a creditable performance given the circumstances.
The Group recorded a profit of ZWL2.8 billion (2020:ZWL1.6 billion) despite insurance benefits and claims increasing by 107% and operating and administrative expenses growing by 502%, a demonstration of the resilience of the Group’s strategy and resourcefulness of its team.
Review of Operations
The year 2021 saw the ZHL Group begin the process of restructuring and repositioning itself to include wealth creation and management both for its shareholders and the communities within which it operates. This included the integration and reorganisation of Fidelity Life Assurance of Zimbabwe Limited to ensure the business focuses on core business, business acquisition and innovation.
The Group also embarked on restructuring its property portfolio and initiating new strategies to ensure portfolio optimisation.
IMPACT OF Covid-19 PANDEMIC
2 years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the Group has maintained a zero fatality record through a comprehensive business continuity plan, adherence to safety protocols and practices as issued by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and World Health Organization (“WHO”). In addition, locally, through Fidelity Life Medical Aid Society (FLIMAS), the Group rolled out an effective vaccination programme.
As at 31 December 2021, 90% of Group employees were vaccinated. Nevertheless the Group’s thoughts and prayers were and continue to be with those that have suffered more significantly and/or personally as a result of the pandemic. Going forward, the Group intends to be more proactive as opposed to reactive to the effects of Covid-19, to ensure the Group’s financial health for the benefit of all its stakeholders.
During the year under review, there were no changes to the ZHL Board of Directors.
In line with the Group’s dividend policy and after careful consideration of the Group’s level of profitability and reserves, economic down turn as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated risks to business growth, the Directors have found it prudent to declare a total dividend payable of ZWL102.6 million or ZWL5.64 cents per share (2020: ZWL30 million). Although the dividend of ZWL102.6 million is below the Group’s expected dividend policy of two and half ti