The Group maintained a solid operational performance in the 10 months to 31 October 2019, especially in the context of persisting challenging operating conditions in our largest markets. Highlights for the four month-period since the end of June 2019 include continued strong net fund inflows at Sanlam Investment Group, traction in Glacier’s new business sales, as well as a marked improvement in Sanlam Corporate and Santam’s risk underwriting profits. Overall new business volumes increased by 6%. The net value of new covered business (VNB) written increased by 13%, supported by a change in the mix of business to more profitable lines of business and a lower comparable risk discount rate at the end of October 2019. Net result from financial services grew by 12%, contributing to a 16% rise in net operational earnings. Saham continues to outperform its top-line target.
The Group achieved a satisfactory operational performance in the four months to 30 April 2019, despite persisting headwinds in South Africa, our largest market, and international political and economic turmoil affecting emerging markets in general. Pleasing organic growth was augmented by the impact of the Saham Finances acquisition in 2018, contributing to 10% growth in the value of new covered business (VNB) written (17% on a constant economic basis), 30% rise in net fund inflows and a 9% increase in net result from financial services. There is continued progress in bedding down the Saham Finances acquisition.
We celebrated 100 years of value creation for our stakeholders in 2018. We faced major headwinds in our centenary year, which makes the 11,6% RoGEV per share we achieved a fitting tribute to our resilience, diversification and ability to execute under adverse conditions.
Sanlam continues to do well on a relative basis despite tough times. We remain a South African-based business committed to retaining clients and attracting new business despite a low growth environment in some large markets, including South Africa. In the current environment we are spending even more time with our clients to assist them with the challenges they are facing.
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Collectively, the five clusters delivered robust overall growth in key performance indicators for 2018, supported by our diversification across geographies, market segments and lines of business.
Global and local economic conditions, and dynamic regulatory landscapes, created the backdrop against which Sanlam initiated two major transactions during 2018.
The Group clusters continued to execute their operational strategies and delivered an overall resilient performance for the 10 months ended 31 October 2018. This is a pleasing result in the context of weak economic conditions in a number of our territories, including South Africa our largest market, and significant volatility in global investment and currency markets. The South African equity market had a particularly weak month in October.
Operating conditions were very challenging during the first six months of 2018 across a number of markets where Sanlam operates. The Group’s well-diversified profile across geographies, market segments and client offerings provided resilience against these headwinds, enabling us to deliver an acceptable operational performance while continuing to create sustainable value for all key stakeholders.