Former conglomerate TA Holdings, which has now been trimmed to focus on insurance, hotels and agro-chemicals, had an excellent year boosted by its associate companies which brought in profits of $18.2 billion.
The company, which used to have interests in manufacturing, trading and transport as well, saw its sales increase from $12.3 billion in 2002 to $51.5 billion but operating profit was down to $5.6 billion, a five-fold increase from the previous year.
Associate companies, however, brought in profits of $18.2 billion, up from only $1.2 billion the previous year, resulting in the company having a profit before tax of $22.1 billion. Net profit stood at $12.7 billion, up from $1.2 billion.
Cresta Zimbabwe and Zimnat Insurance brought in 75 percent of the turnover while external operations, mainly the Botswana Insurance Company brought in the remainder.
The insurance business brought in $42.6 billion. The company said despite the economic downturn there was potential for further business because of gross under-insurance.
Hotels raked in $8.8 billion. During the year, there was a change in the shareholding of Cresta Marakanelo, which is now being treated as an associate company. It had a profit of $260 million.
Business was slow because of negative tourist perceptions affecting Victoria Falls which is a major feeder to the Kasane and Chobe game park where Mowana Safari Lodge is located.
Other associate companies included Blue Ribbon, which was sold in the first half of the year, Sable Chemicals, ZFC and United Refineries.
TA says it is continuing to focus on its Africa-growth. Cresta Royale in Ghana opened its doors in September. Cresta Crossroads in Malawi is expected to open next month.