Discovery earnings to climb

Johannesburg - Discovery Holdings [JSE:DSY] on Wednesday advised that its full-year headline earnings per share would be up to 10% higher.

The company said its headline earnings would include some, but not all, of the impacts of the Standard Life Healthcare acquisition and the related increase in shareholding in Prudential Health Holdings as well as excluded realised gains.

Discovery Holdings reported headline earnings of 278.8c a share in the year to end June 2010.

Earnings per share, which includes all of the impacts of the transaction and realised gains, is expected to be between 45% and 55% higher than the 309.9c a share reported for the corresponding reporting period last year.

Discovery said to assist in understanding the results for the period it intended to provide a normalised headline earnings figure, which is defined as earnings excluding the impact of the acquisition of Standard Life Healthcare and excluding realised gains on available-for-sale financial instruments.

"Management is of the view that this best represents the operating results for the period," the company said.

Discovery announced its acquisition of the entire share capital of Standard Life Healthcare, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Standard Life Group, for R1.56bn in May last year. It also announced a related increase in shareholding in Prudential Health Holdings, the holding company of PruHealth and PruProtect, the joint ventures between Discovery and Prudential Assurance Company of the United Kingdom.

Normalised headline earnings per share is expected to be between 25% and 35% higher than the corresponding reporting period of the previous year.

Discovery anticipates releasing its full-year results on September 1. 
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