Zimre to champion real estate growth

20 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Zimre to champion real estate growth Ruvimbo Chidora

eBusiness Weekly

Nelson Gahadza

ZIMRE Holdings (ZHL) says it will continue to implement a strategy to champion the financial services industry for value chain development and initiate real estate development and growth.

Over the years, ZHL has expanded focus from being insurance – centric to wealth creation through investment banking pursuits in strategic national developments.

The new model resulted in the restructuring and remodelling of the group’s business portfolios in line with its new culture that places “emphasis on sustained value creation through cash generation, customer focus and change management.”

Ruvimbo Chidora, the group’s secretary, in a trading update for the first quarter 2022, said this year, the group aims to develop an independent wealth management arm, which arm will inform and direct the group’s investment initiatives while offering similar services to the investing public.

“Key moves within this strategy include the consolidation of operations to capitalise on economies of scale, elimination of duplicate costs, and exploring strategic partnerships both locally and regionally to enhance its market presence,” she said.

In 2021, ZHL successfully realigned and recalibrated its operations after gaining control of selected business units.

These include Zimre Property Investments (ZPI), which was acquired through a successful offer to minorities, while Fidelity shares were acquired from NSSA and IMARA.

In the region, the group’s reinsurance operations are in Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique and the group is also looking at opening new market frontiers in East Africa.

According to Chidora, while ZHL is a house of various strong brands, the need for a uniform culture has become a real focus.

“Accordingly, in 2022, ZHL will be carrying out a culture transformation programme based on collaboration and transparency to create passion and purpose for the success of the Group,” she said.

She noted that the benefits of the groups consolidation of heartland investments were however watered down by an unprecedented increase in claims particularly agricultural claims as a result of climatic changes.

“As a result total expenses and claims increased by 32 percent from prior year,” she said.

During the quarter under review, the group recorded a moderate top line growth of 34 percent and 116 percent from prior period in inflation adjusted and historical terms respectively.

The total revenue for the quarter increased 75 percent and 188 percent against prior year performance in inflation adjusted and historical terms respectively.

In terms of each business segment contribution to total gross written premium, Reinsurance contributed 52 percent followed by Life and Pensions at 31 percent.

Reassurance and insurance contributed eight and five percent respectively while property had a four percent contribution.

On the operating environment, Chidora noted that in terms of the Covid -19 pandemic, Zimbabwe’s vaccination drive enabled the country to resume normal operations efficiently and safely in 2022.

She noted that despite the optimistic start to the financial year, the effects of the Russia – Ukraine conflict spread to Africa and Zimbabwe, with fuel, cooking oil, gas and wheat price increases.

Chidora indicated that Zimbabwe, being a net importer of all these commodities, has since experienced import inflation in addition to inflation due to the depreciating the local currency.

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