Bloomberg News

FirstRand Pays Investors Special Dividend on Record Profit

September 13, 2011

(Updates with company comment from third paragraph.)

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- FirstRand Ltd., South Africa’s second-biggest financial services company, said it will pay a special dividend of 70 cents per share after full-year profit more than doubled following asset sales.

Net income rose to 20.1 billion rand ($2.7 billion) in the 12 months through June, from 9.44 billion rand a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based firm said in a statement today. Earnings per share excluding one-time items were 1.79 rand, in line with the median estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

FirstRand’s first special dividend since its foundation in 1998 came after the company sold its stake in Outsurance Holdings Ltd. for more than 4 billion rand and spun off its Momentum Group Ltd. insurance business. Earnings were also boosted by a “significant decrease” in bad debts at its retail bank, the company said.

FirstRand has gained 2.8 percent in Johannesburg trading this year, compared with a 37 percent slump in the 46-company Bloomberg Europe Banks and Financial Services Index.

--Editors: Dylan Griffiths, Vernon Wessels.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net


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