In a trading update released on Monday, Liberty says it had a much better first half in 2021 than last year.
The insurer is in the process of compiling its financial results for the six-month ended in June 2021. It expects its headline earnings and basic earnings per share (EPS) to be more than 20% higher than in 2020.
In the first half of 2020, the insurer recorded a headline loss per share of 855.2 cents. Its suffered an interim headline loss of R2.2 billion after setting aside a R3 billion pandemic reserve to prepare itself for Covid-19 death claims, which it topped up with another R73 million at the end of 2020.
In its first-quarter trading update, the insurer said it will reassess its Covid-19 reserve again at the end of June 2021. It is expected to announce any adjustment when it presents its results on 4 August.
The insurer noted a significant increase in death claims in the first quarter of 2021 due to the second wave of Covid-19 infections.
Still, its SA retail business fared much better than in 2020 in the first few months of 2021, increasing indexed new business sales by 17.8%.
Although earlier predictions were that insurers will take years to recover from Covid-19 setbacks, trading updates from big players suggest otherwise.
Sanlam said it been selling more in the first four months of 2021 than it did in 2019.
Old Mutual said financial advisors in its biggest business unit were also selling more policies per week, and its funeral and underwritten life cover sales were 8% above 2019 numbers in the first quarter of 2021.
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