South African short-term insurer Santam reported a 40% jump in full-year earnings on Monday, slightly lower than expected, after a turnaround in its crop insurance segment and an absence in hail-related catastrophes.
Santam said diluted headline earnings per share rose to 1,435 cents in the year to end-December from 1,023 cents a year ago. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a 42% increase in earnings to 1,450 cents per share.
The insurer majority-owned by Sanlam said its gross written premiums – or the amount customers paid up for their insurance policies during the period – rose 10% to R22.7 billion ($1.9 billion).
Its crop insurance business made an underwriting profit of R251 million from a loss of R142 million in 2013, it said.
South Africa’s largest property and casualty insurer raised its dividend by 10% to 742 cents, much lower than the 1,298 cents analysts had anticipated.
Santam shares were down 1% at 12:35 GMT, compared with a 0.6% decline by Johannesburg’s All-share index.