Royal Exchange rewards shareholders with dividend pay-out
• Posts 19% half-year profit
• Tasks government on favorable policies to boost sector
The Group Managing Director, Royal Exchange Plc, Auwalu Muktari, has assured shareholders that the insurer has restructured its balance sheet to enhance profitability and reward shareholders with dividend in the current financial year of 2017.
Muktari gave the assurance at the company’s Facts Behind the Figure on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in Lagos. The last time Royal Exchange paid dividend was in 2013 year end with five kobo per share, but Muktari noted that the underwriter had consistently paid dividend until it recorded some losses in 2015, and as a result of certain provisions in its annuity business and life company.
“But we have turned that around with profit. We have decided to go back and restructure the company’s operation. We have had legacy issues, and we are working hard to address them, and bring the company back on track. Unproductive assets are being looked at to fully return the company back to profit and pay good dividend,” he added
The Company in its half year (H1) result for the period ended June 30, 2017 announced profit after tax of N203.3million, a growth of 19 per cent, while its Gross Written Premium (GWP) went up by 11 per cent to N9.37billion in the period under consideration, from N8.43billion in H1 2016.
Gross Premium Income witnessed a moderate growth of 6.3 per cent to N6.86billion over the N6.46billion generated in the corresponding period in 2016.
Net Premium Income for the period amounted to N4.72 billion, representing a marginal growth of 2.5 per cent over that of half year 2016, which stood at N4.60 billion. Total Net Claims paid for the period under review amounted to N1.76billion.
Muktari said: “By focusing on the growth objectives set forth at the beginning of the year, which included an increased focus on the retail and corporate markets, amongst others. We have been able to achieve moderate growth, and the Board and Management of the company are definitely optimistic for the second half of the year.
“The beginning of the 2017 financial year witnessed difficulties in the Nigerian economy, but as evidenced by our stellar results, and those of other firms in the Nigerian Stock Market, there is renewed optimism in the Nigerian economy.
“Royal Exchange Plc is hopeful that by focusing our efforts on aggressive sales of our various products and services, including strong presence and participation in the retail sales space, and the continued optimisation of our operating costs, we will be able to surpass our financial targets set for ourselves at the beginning of the year.”
On the state of the insurance industry, Muktari noted that while government is the biggest spender in the Nigerian economy, it is important that the private sector sees the industry as partners by taking out policies to ensure not only business continuity, but also peace of mind in the event of any business disruption.
He also said increased awareness on the usefulness and benefits of insurance by the media would help increase insurance penetration and wider patronage of the various insurance products in Nigeria.
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