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Zimre scales up consolidation

MELODY CHIKONO
DIVERSIFIED financial services group Zimre Holdings Limited (ZHL) says it is pursuing a strategy anchored on robust investment initiatives and continued consolidation of operations as it repositions itself into a financial services group with competencies in insurance, property and wealth management.

Consolidation of operations will look at capitalising on economies of scale while eliminating duplication of costs.

The firm said it will be exploring strategic partnerships locally and regionally to enhance its market presence.

In 2021, ZHL began restructuring to include wealth creation and management.

This included the integration and re-organisation of Fidelity Life Assurance of Zimbabwe Limited to focus on core business, business acquisitions and innovation.

The group embarked on restructuring its property portfolio and initiating new strategies to ensure portfolio optimisation.

In his statement accompanying the groups’ financial results for the year ended December 31,2021, ZHL chairperson Ben Kumalo said following the consolidation, the group would be developing an overarching and formalised policy on social responsibility and corporate governance.

The policy will encourage sharing of ideas to ensure best practices are implemented in a coordinated manner across all the operations.

“The group has therefore adopted a uniform culture that builds on the opportunities of 2020 to align the organisational purpose, strategic values and leadership behaviours,” he said.

“The culture transformation is expected to result in a positive effect on the group employees and in turn its success.”

Kumalo said the new structure saw ZHL generate ZW$10,6 billion (US$28 million) in total income, a 137% growth from the prior year.

Gross Premium Written increased from ZW$3,4 billion (about US$9,1 million) to ZW$5,2 billion (about US$14 million), a 53% growth from prior year.

Rental income contributed 3% of the group’s total income at ZW$294 million (US$795 000) from ZW$144,1 million (about US$389 000) 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 delisting the group’s property arm. In its year of reflection, concerted effort was given to implementing appropriate responses to the pandemic,” Kumalo said.

“These responses included robust initiatives to investments, resulting in notable growth in investment income of 269% to ZW$171,6 million (about US$462 000). Also among the key responses was prudent and tough decisions on costs given both the pandemic and inflation in Zimbabwe.”

The group recorded a profit of ZW$2,8 billion (about US$7,5 million) up from ZW$1,6 billion (about US$4,3 million) in 2020.

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