The South African insurer Sanlam has issued a moderately upbeat trading statement ahead of the release of its H1 results in September.

Strong growth in new business volumes and a sound operational performance, coupled with favorable South African equity markets during the reporting period, contributed to overall satisfactory group results for the first six months of 2006, Sanlam said.

It is expected that core earnings will be marginally higher than in 2005 while headline earnings will be between 13% and 18% up on the comparable period in 2005, the insurer forecast.