Takeover of Crédit du Maroc by Holmarcom: discussions are advanced

AtlantaSanad confirms and maintains its desire to establish itself in Africa. PH: Seddik

The acquisition of Crédit du Maroc by Holmarcom was naturally invited to the conference on the annual results of AtlantaSanad, whose lights are green. The president of the group affirmed that the discussions were “very advanced”.

The Holmarcom group is moving forward with firm steps in its plan to acquire Crédit Agricole France’s stake in its Crédit du Maroc subsidiary. At least that’s what its top management says. “What we can say is that the discussions are very advanced. The process is proceeding normally, but it is not a simple operation (…). For the timing, it will be done in an upcoming deadline. It is obvious that we will not start on many months or a year of discussions, because the essential is behind us”, declared Mohamed Hassan Bensalah, president of the Holmarcom group, at the end of last week, during the conference of presentation of the annual results of its subsidiary AtlantaSanad.
That said, this meeting showed that the lights are green for the company in 2021. A year that has proven to be dynamic in more ways than one, despite a context of emerging from the crisis and low rates. The company thus achieved a turnover (CA) of 5.4 billion DH, up 9.4% at the end of 2021 compared to 2020. Remember that the growth in turnover at the end of 2020 was 2%. The increase in sales over the past year comes from all the segments. Thus, at the level of “Non-Life”, AtlantaSanad recorded an improvement of 5.2%, or +198 million DH. On “La Vie”, the progression was much more sustained, i.e. 24.3% compared to 2020.

Growth in the “Non-Life” segment stems in particular from growth in the automobile branch, in line with the recovery in sales of new vehicles. “We have indeed achieved significant growth in the sale of new vehicles as part of the recovery (+31.5% nationally) and therefore we have a comparison with 2019, where the growth in terms of vehicle sales is +5.7%. Compared therefore to a normative situation, we are on a growth in terms of sales of new vehicles”, explains the management of the company.
On the “Life” component, the insurer recorded a rebound, more particularly on capitalization products, despite a context of low interest rates. In terms of claims, this is also part of a context of the lifting of restrictive measures, generating a mechanical increase, compared to 2020 (the S/P ratio for the year is up by 2.9% to 72.8 % Compared to 2019, this ratio is down 1.1%.
On another note, general expenses fell, which is mainly explained by the effects of the synergy resulting from the merger carried out in 2020. Thus, management expenses rose by 5.1% and general expenses excluding commissions increased by 3.4%. A performance to be compared with the increase in turnover, which rises by 9.4%. Moreover, the management expense ratio improved from 1.1% to 24.6%. The average commission rate is 11.9% for all lines combined versus 12.3% in 2020. This drop is linked to a mixed product effect, given the increase in low-commission “Life” sales.
Active positioning on OPCIs
Concretely, the level of general expenses of the company is at 1.69 billion DH against 1.27 billion a year earlier. In terms of financial income, it recorded a significant increase at the end of 2021, in a context of stock market recovery, i.e. growth of 42.8%. “Fortunately for the shareholders who are richer. There are some who left the money, and others who will get even richer. The stock market price appreciated by nearly 50%. But at our level, we do not focus on stock market prices, because we are not interested in selling,” comments Mohamed Hassan Bensalah. As a result, the company’s financial result stands at 705 million DH, against 493 million DH a year earlier. “This growth is based on the company’s investment strategy, which benefits from the rise in the stock market, and a policy of diversification in terms of investments, in particular through active positioning on OPCIs”, specifies the management of AtlantaSanad. .
More than 14 billion DH of investments
On the investment side, the company recorded growth of 6.3% to 14.2 billion DH at the end of 2021. Equity also increased by 5.2%, standing at 3.7 billion DH. The consolidated turnover improved by 9.7% to 5.5 billion dirhams and the consolidated result fell by 11.7% due to the exceptional impact of restatement by result of the capital gain resulting from contribution of Sanad assets, as part of the operation to create the OPCI in 2020, following the merger of the two companies. Restated for this exceptional effect, the consolidated result of the company is up by 22.5%.
In terms of international prospects, the group confirms and maintains its desire to set up in Africa: “There have already been two operations that have been carried out: Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya, but there are other countries that are under study in more or less advanced degrees of negotiation. This is part of the vision that was mentioned a few years ago on the network and the fact that the group is doing well from an insurance point of view in Morocco”, adds Bensalah.

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