JOHANNESBURG, Sept 4 (Reuters) - South Africa's largest insurer by market value, Sanlam, posted an expected 28 percent jump in half-year earnings on Thursday as its diversification into other African markets and Asia paid of.
The insurer said diluted headline earnings per share totalled 220.2 cents in the six months to end-June, from 171.4 cents a year ago. Headline EPS, the benchmark profit measure in South Africa, excludes certain one-time items.
Sanlam had flagged earnings would up to 30 percent higher.
New business volumes climbed 7 percent to 88.7 billion rand ($8.3 billion).
While economic conditions in its key South African market were strained, businesses elsewhere in Africa and India achieved better growth, Sanlam said.
The company has operations in several African countries, India, Europe, Australia and in the United States.
Sanlam shares are up more than 28 percent so far this year, compared with a 12 percent increase by Johannesburg's blue-chip index. ($1 = 10.6669 South African Rand) (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Ed Stoddard)