By Bernard Mpofu, HARARE, April 24 (The Source) – The local unit of Old Mutual Plc says it has recorded satisfactory results for the first quarter ending March despite rising voids in its property portfolio, chief executive officer Jonas Mushosho said on Friday.
Mushosho attributed the performance to the group’s life assurance and banking business. The group owns market leader Old Mutual Life Assurance and CABS, the country’s largest mortgage lender and is second largest financial institution by deposits. Other Old Mutual subsidiaries include Old Mutual Securities, Old Mutual Property, Old Mutual Investment Group and Old Mutual Custodial Services.
“As you know we run an integrated and diversified financial services group and therefore the group has capacity more than other entities to absorb shocks that happen in a difficult environment, therefore in that regard our first quarter performance has been very satisfactory,” Mushosho said.
“We have two flagship businesses—the life business and the banking business and both of them posted very good results.”
Commenting on the property unit, Mushosho said voids had risen to 19 percent during the first quarter from 17 percent last year as businesses struggle to stay afloat.
“While we were able to deliver on our Q1 results it’s very early in the year to make predictions on what will happen particularly in a very difficult environment like this. We will take each month as it comes but the hope of anybody in my position and in our team is to meet targets and to meet the promises that we have made both to our shareholders and to principals,” Mushosho said.
“I think those voids reflect the nature of this environment, it’s a very difficult environment. Our view is that we are in the property business for the long term. We don’t make short term decisions. We know that businesses go through different cycles and therefore we engage our tenants in ways that are beneficial to both ourselves and to them in the long term.”