September 7, 2017 / 8:02 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's FirstRand profit falls short of forecasts

(Adds details, shares)

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 7 (Reuters) - South African bank FirstRand’s annual profit fell short of expectations as a weak economy at home hit both investment and consumer spending.

Headline earnings per share was 424 cents for the year ended June 30, below a 436 cents estimate in a poll of 11 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Headline EPS, which strips out certain one-off items, is the main profit measure in South Africa.

Shares FirstRand fell 0.55 percent to 54.16 rand by 0752 GMT, slightly underperforming the index including its rivals. .

Faced with tentative economic growth and job losses, FirstRand is trying to squeeze revenue from existing clients with sale of additional financial services such as savings, insurance and investment products.

“To date, progress looks promising,” FirstRand said in a statement.

The bank has also scaled back expansion elsewhere on the continent, where growth prospects have been dealt a blow by the collapse of commodity prices.

It is now focusing on expanding its businesses in nine countries where it has a presence already, including Mozambique and Zambia. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by David Clarke)

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