JSE-listed independent banking and financial service firm Sasfin says its headline earnings decreased 11% to R96m for the year ended 30 June 2011.

Headline earnings per share dropped by 16%, while Sasfin's business banking profit jumped to R80m, an 87% increase.

Sasfin says its results were affected by lower business volumes.

"In particular, private and property private equity results were negatively impacted through a combination of impairment charges and fair value writedowns in its portfolio where certain of the material investments failed to achieve their profit targets and generate the resultant revaluation surpluses," Sasfin said on Wednesday.

Banking assets jumped 23% to R4,4bn in the period under review.

Sasfin says this is mainly due to positive momentum in the business banking segment.

"The group's operating performance was positively impacted by the strong lending base in the business banking segment, which contributed approximately 70% of the group's profit for the year," the bank explained.

Sasfin says it is positive about the next year and expects to grow its franchise.

"Despite the prevailing level of global economic uncertainty, the group expects to see improved levels of business activity across all segments. Sasfin's growth trajectory is indeed sustainable on the back of its strong capital position, improved liquidity levels and diversified funding and activity base," Sasfin said.

downingr@bdfm.co.za

Twitter: @RoyDowning