Mutual Benefits to focus on innovation, product development

Akin Ogunbiyi

Akin Ogunbiyi

…As profits nose-dive by 81 per cent

Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc has resolved to enhance its performance through innovation and products development in the current financial year.

This comes as the group’s operating profit after tax fell by 81 per cent from N4.2 billion in 2014 to N0.8 billion in 2015.

Addressing shareholders during the 20th yearly general meeting, in Lagos, the Chairman of the company, Akin Ogunbiyi, said: “The group will
continue to focus our energies on innovation and product development for a better market penetration and strong customer focus.”

According to him, Nigerian insurance market remains at an embryonic stage of development with the combined assets of the country’s insurers
comprising only a tiny percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) and total premiums lagging behind more developed markets.

He identified other areas of growth opportunities to include the Federal Government’s infrastructure development, diversification of the economy away from oil revenues, anti-corruption crusade, and the expansionary budget.

“Our company is set to take advantage of these opportunities for growth through utilisation and expansion of ICT, massive use of telecommunication facilities, and further penetration of the retail sector which is relatively untapped,” he added.

Speaking further, Ogunbiyi said the group’s asset base for the period amounted to N46.1 billion, with a modest growth of 16 per cent in 2015, compared with the N44.1 billion achieved in the previous year.

“It is worth noting that our foreign investments – Mutual Benefits Assurance Liberia, and Mutual Benefits Niger Republic, contributed about 13 per cent to the bottom-line of the group in 2015. Key business trends from these subsidiaries in 2016 remain positive with divides already distrusted by Mutual Benefits Liberia.

“Divestment from some non-insurance subsidiaries in 2015 Mutual Model Transportation Limited, and Charks Investment Limited contributed negatively to the 81 per cent decrease in profit after tax from N4.2 billion in 2014 to N0.8 billion in 2015. Other key contributor was a fair value gain in investment properties of N2.6 billion in 2014 that was not repeated in 2015,” Ogunbiyi noted.

According to him, the firm recorded a gross written premium of N14.6 billion in 2015, representing 16 per cent declined compared to N15.5 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2014.

Meanwhile, underwriting profit for the period reduced to N3.9 billion or a decline of 26 per cent in 2015, compared to N5.2 billion generated in the previous period year.

He attributed the shortfalls to the general lull in economic activities during the year, resulting in delayed investment decisions and low disposable income.

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