Trading update

03 February 2005 Angelo Coppola

A little upbeat...

According to the company, early indications are that headline earnings per share for 2004 will be between 25% and 35% higher than in 2003, notwithstanding the recognition of significant non-recurring expenditure incurred in 2004 relating mainly to the continuing operational restructuring of the group as well as the recently implemented black economic empowerment transaction.

Earnings for 2004 have benefited from the shareholders’ participation in investment returns on assets backing certain classes of policyholder business.

The weighted average investment return in 2004 on the equity, managed and foreign assets portfolios was 22,7% versus 12,5% in 2003.

Shareholders were cautioned that the year-end actuarial valuation has not been completed and finalisation of this valuation may impact upon the initial estimate of headline earnings per share.

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