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Liberty Group new business continues to show strong growth

30 November 2007 Liberty Group

Liberty Group Trading Update

Restructuring initiatives continue to pay off, while positive markets boost operational performance in both life and asset management businesses.

Highlights

* Indexed new business sales production up 19.4%
* Indexed individual life new business sales up 15.5%
* Stanlib sales of R 86.4bn

Liberty Group today released a trading update for the nine months to September 2007, showing strong growth in both the life company and asset management business. This performance is in line with management’s comments at the half-year results in August - that restructuring efforts were paying off, and that renewed focus on growth would deliver positive results.

Indexed new business production at Liberty (life and off-balance sheet sales made by Liberty sales and distribution) increased by 19,4%, demonstrating the benefits of leveraging the group’s distribution capabilities.

Indexed life new business rose 14.7%, with recurring premium new business up 16.6%, and single premium new business up 9.4%. All retail sales channels continued to perform, with indexed individual life new business growing by 15.5%.

Stanlib’s showing for the nine months was excellent, with funds under management now standing at R339bn, up 10.8% from 31 December 2006. Total sales for the period were R86.4bn (up 6.7%), and net cash flows improved strongly to R11.6bn, compared with a negative cash flow of R0,2bn for the comparative period in 2006.

Commenting on the figures, Chief Executive Bruce Hemphill said “I think Liberty Group’s highly successful 2007 sales performance to date can be attributed to our decision earlier this year to improve our market penetration by merging the marketing and distribution arms of Liberty Life and Stanlib. This supports our strategy to build a broader wealth management offering for our markets and clients.

“Stanlib’s excellent investment performance has also undoubtedly contributed significantly to these impressive sales figures.”

Hemphill added that Liberty’s strong sales have continued into the last quarter, and said he believes the group remains operationally well placed, notwithstanding the current volatility in global capital markets.

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