ALEXANDER Forbes Equity Holdings, the holding company for the Alexander Forbes financial services group, on Monday reported 11% growth in operating income from continuing operations, exceeding R2bn, in the six months to September.

Profit from continuing operations, before nontrading items, increased 8% to R524m compared with R483m in the same period in 2011.

The group, which offers consulting services in retirement and corporate health, said its Africa region delivered "pleasing" 12% growth in trading profit for the six months under review to end the period at R466m.

"After nontrading items and finance charges, the group’s profit before taxation from continuing operations of R90m is significantly higher than the R3m reported in the previous period," the group said in a regulatory update.

"After taxation, the group reported a loss of R25m compared with the R84m loss in the first six months of the previous financial year," it said.

"As previously explained, this loss should be viewed in light of the ongoing accounting amortisation of the intangible assets, which arose from the business combination (acquisition by the current shareholders in 2007) amounting to R87m for the six months."

The company reported headline earnings per linked unit of 76c in the six months to September, a 21% rise from the same period a year ago.

The company also said its strategic repositioning continued despite difficult trading environments in many areas and uncertainties in the global economy.

"Overall the group’s results ... continued to show promising growth," it said. "It is encouraging to see credible top-line revenue growth as our strategic intent continues to gain momentum, as indicated through its early success."

It added: "Specifically, trading profit growth from retail (individual clients) for the reporting period is 18% compared with last year, underpinned by asset growth of 19% and insurance gross premium growth of 16%."