ZB FINANCIAL Holdings brought a mixed bag of how its subsidiaries fared in the first half of the year with traditional winners making losses while others managed to throw some money into the groupâ€™s bag.
The group, traditionally buoyed by its flagship banking operation â€” ZB Bank â€” saw profits coming from its building society and reinsurance arms.
ZB Bank posted a loss of US$$1,5 million while ZB Building Society posted modest profit at US$91 000.
Intermarket Banking Corporation made a loss US$7 200.
The groupâ€™s reinsurance business â€” ZB Reinsurance â€” saved the day with a pre-tax profit of US$1,71 million and achieved an underwriting profit of US$1,40 million.
ZB group CEO Elisha Mushayakarara said banking operations were largely subdued during the interim period as a result of the unavailability of liquidity and the rapid turnover on customer balances which made it difficult to structure longer-term products desired by businesses.
Mushayakarara added that the groupâ€™s life assurance business â€œlargely remained inactiveâ€ for the half year under review owing to the generally low levels of disposable income obtaining across the economy.
He said: â€œThe re-insurance, business on the other hand, enjoyed better fortunes as businesses reviewed their insurance portfolios in anticipation of increased production.â€
ZB life Assurance posted a loss of US$5,1 million after distribution to minority shareholders emanating from the fair value loss on the Mashonaland Holding stock on the ZSE.
Management hopes to see the group trading profitably by year-end and believe costs have since stabilised while revenue outturn has also changed the business outlook.
He said:â€ As a consequence of the introduction of the multi-currency trading regime, business operated in â€œstart-upâ€ mode whilst servicing an entrenched overhead base thus creating a profitability gap in the early phase.â€
The group says it plans to recapitalise the groupâ€™s operations. The group said it is considering a private placement to raise finds among other options.