Discovery posts excellent results

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“The six months to 31 December 2013 has been a successful and important period in the context of Discovery’s evolution,” [DATA DSY:DISCOVERY LTD.] said in a statement.

“The growth and quality of earnings reflect the efficacy of Discovery’s model, centred around making people healthier, and as a result, building superior insurance systems.”

Normalised profit from operations was up 21 per cent to 2.3 million rand, and normalised headline earnings were also up 22 per cent to 1.6 million rand.

The company’s embedded value also increased 19 per cent 39.8 billion rand.

“To capitalise on these persistent trends and build on Discovery’s leadership in this space, the six-month period under review saw a deliberate strategy of investing in the repeatability of the model across local businesses, international markets, and adjacent industries,” said Discovery.

The Discovery Health segment achieved an overall increase in new business of 15 per cent to 2.6 million rand, and an increase in operating profit of 13 per cent to 860 million rand.

Membership for the Discovery Health grew four per cent, resulting in robust performance of the Discovery Health Medical scheme, including a surplus of 1.4 billion rand generated over the 12 months to December 2013.

The group’s Discovery Life segment also recorded at 21 per cent growth in earnings, which was driven by an 11 per cent above-expectation increase in new business.

The performance of Discovery Invest also exceeded expectations with 36 billion rand worth of assets under management and earnings increasing by 49 per cent to 148 million rand.

New business for the segment rose 26 percent from 518 million to 652 million rand.

Discovery Insure’s new business grew by 40 percent to 257 million rand, with the segment accounting for 12 percent of new business market share. Discovery Insure remains the fastest growing short term insurer in South Africa.   

“Discovery remains excited about the potential of the Discovery Insure business, given the performance above, and as such, invested in the business from an infrastructure and brand-building perspective,” added the company.  

“The progress made over the past six months positions Discovery strongly for continued growth and profitability into the future.”