Fidelity Suffers 66% Investment Income Decrease

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By Alois Vinga

LISTED insurance group, Fidelity Life Assurance (FLA) has suffered a 66 % investment income decline attributed to investment property fair value gains.

In a trading update Thursday, FLA company secretary Chipo Matongo bemoaned the investment income declines saying they were a result of factors largely outside the company’s control.

“The decrease in total revenue was as a result of a 66% decrease in investment income, itself mainly driven by investment property fair value gains. Property fair value gains are computed in relation to movement in exchange rate, which grew by less than inflation rate,” she said.

In investment terms, fair value is a reference to the asset’s price, as determined by a willing seller and buyer, and often established in the marketplace.

Fair value is a broad measure of an asset’s worth and is not the same as market value, which refers to the price of an asset in the marketplace.

She said during the period ended March 31 2021 , the group inflation adjusted core revenue increased by 55% from $163.8 million in 2020 to $253.2 million in the first quarter, anchored by the life assurance subsidiaries which contributed 87% to  total core revenue.

The life assurance subsidiaries registered strong growth above inflation.

“Locally, this was achieved through well-considered upward reviews of both premiums and policy values to protect value for policyholders. The growth was also supported by a general increase in pension contributions arising from modest salary reviews by companies,” Matongo said.

The group’s Malawi subsidiary generated significant foreign currency revenue which is a hedge against high Zimbabwe inflation.

However, the group’s inflation adjusted total revenue decreased by 16% from $387.5 million for the first quarter of 2020 to $326.1 in the current year.

FLA also experienced a surge in inflation adjusted total expenses which grew by 12% from  in the given period.

Expenses were mainly driven by the changes in insurance liabilities which constitute 47% of the total expenses in the current year compared to 45% in the same period prior year.

The group’s profit before tax reached $139  million for the period ended 31 March 2021,  decreasing by  37% as compared to $219.7 million posted in the same period prior year.