BY ONOME AMUGE
Prestige Assurance posted a 32.2 percent year on year growth in its gross premium written to N9.27 billion in 2021 as against N7.01 billion in the preceding year.
The insurer also reported net premium earned during the period under review stood at N4.6 billion, indicating a 32 percent increase over the preceding period, where it recorded N3.5 billion.
The insurer, at its recent 52nd annual general meeting in Lagos, disclosed that its total profit (PAT) for the year rose 1.5 percent year on year to N688.3 million from N678 million in the previous year despite all the challenges and turbulent economic conditions.
However, for the company’s investment income, the interest rate in commercial paper crashed, but the company’s management was proactive enough to take advantage of their investment as it made N838 million as against the previous income on investment in 2020 which was N662 million, resulting in an increase of about 27 percent.
In the same vein, the net claims expenses of N2.4 billion were incurred in 2021, indicating a 39 percent increase from that of the preceding period, which recorded N1.7 billion. Meanwhile, the net claims ratio for the period under review was 51 percent as against the 2020 figure which was 49 percent. Whereas a gross claim of N8.3 billion was incurred in 2021, that of 2020 was N4.3 billion; an increase of 95 percent.
Speaking on the impressive performance for the year 2021, Muftau Oyegunle, the company’s acting chairman of the board, said “Despite all the challenges and turbulent economic conditions, the company’s performance has been in consistent upward progression. Our results in 2021 are built onto a solid foundation established by focusing on responsible growth. Our risk assets metrics evidenced our continued focus on maintaining a diversified and sound risk portfolio.
In general, the Nigerian economy is on a recovery path, likewise, the global economy should continue its recovery path, despite the lingering scare of COVID-19. Also, the escalating geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine and its allies has the potential to stiffen growth by diverting resources to less economically productive uses, creating shocks to the Global financial market and sending energy prices to sky-high levels which will further worsen current inflationary pressures in the country.
Looking ahead, the chairman noted that “2022 is a pre-election year in Nigeria, and as is often the case, private sector demand would expand considerably due to election-related spending. Also as the current administration winds down, there could be a rise in government spending projects. Such a combination of stronger private consumption and increased government spending will put upward pressure on the growth of the domestic economy and demand-induced inflation. With a forecast of higher inflation, the CBN could cautiously raise interest rates in a manner that will not impede growth.”
Meanwhile, the company’s earnings per share (EPS) for the year under review was 5.19 kobo while that of the previous year was 9.78 kobo. The reduction in ESP was a result of the new shares listed on 18th December 2020 and then proposed 1.5 kobos per ordinary share in dividends to shareholders.
“In line with our desire to continually ensure appreciable returns to our shareholders, the board recommends dividends of 1.5k (one and a half kobo) per ordinary share. Our shareholders will be receiving a total of N199 million in dividends for the 2021 financial year, which is subject to appropriate withholding tax and pending approval at this AGM. We remain committed toward regular dividends payments to our shareholders in appreciation of their faith in the company,” Oyegunle said.