First Mutual expands clinic network

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

Financial services group, First Mutual Holdings Limited, will expand its clinic network and open pharmacies through partnership arrangements as it moves to control the value chain, CEO Douglas Hoto has said.

“First Mutual Health has embarked on a forward integration strategy whose initial phase is to expand the clinic network and open pharmacies through partnership arrangements. This will enable First Mutual Health to complement the suppliers and increase business competitiveness,” Hoto said in the 2020 annual report.

He said the group’s solid balance sheet, coupled with robust strategies are expected to deliver sustainable growth and value creation for all stakeholders, despite a turbulent operating environment and the pandemic.

The group, he said, will continue to invest in core businesses and complementary areas.

Hoto said key developments during 2021 will include the recapitalisation of the group’s insurance subsidiary in Mozambique, Diamond Seguros, to meet regulatory capital requirements and capacitating it to underwrite the health insurance business.

First Mutual’s profit went up 1791% to ZWL$2.3bn in the financial year ended December 31 2020 from ZWL$123.9m recorded in the same period in 2019 due to a massive increase in investment income.

The company recorded some marginal increases across most divisions due to the slowing down of inflation and the stability of the foreign currency exchange rate.

Gross Premium Written  grew 2% to ZWL$5.9bn  from ZWL$5.8bn as a result of organic growth on the existing portfolio and the continuous revaluation of insurance policy values in line with inflation to ensure clients had adequate cover.

Rental income for the year amounted to ZWL$257m from ZWL$235m, reflecting a 9% increase.

The real growth, relative to prior year, was due to quarterly rental reviews and increases in occupancy rates in retail and residential properties.

The group achieved investment income of ZWL$346m for the year under review compared to an investment loss of ZWL$1.8bn in 2019.

First Mutual’s total assets appreciated in value by 43% at December 31 2020 compared to December 31 2019 with the increase mainly attributable to the fair value adjustment on investment properties and listed equities as well as revaluation of net foreign currency denominated assets.

During the last quarter of the year, the group commenced the process to implement a solar powered energy solution for the company’s head office in Harare.

Hoto said First Mutual will leverage on its diverse business portfolio, strategic partnerships, as well as its regional footprint to sustain a positive growth trajectory into the future.

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