Godwin Emefiele, Governor, CBN.

Continental Reinsu-rance Plc’s profit before tax rose by 46 per cent to N1.1bn in the first quarter of the 2015 financial period from N764m in the same period of 2014.

According to a statement obtained from the firm on Sunday, the Group Managing Director, Continental Re, Dr. Femi Oyetunji, said the performance reflected the benefits of the company’s diversified client base of over 200 insurance entities across Africa.

Oyetunji said, “Underpinning our strategy is our commitment to sustainable growth and profitability through the localisation of our operations in key markets. We aim to continue to escalate our returns from the investments we have already undertaken that are focused on meeting market demand and ultimately positioning our company for sustainable growth and profitability.”

The company said its profit after tax rose by 38 per cent to N837m in the period under review from N606m in the corresponding period of 2014.

It disclosed that its gross premium income rose by 12.6 per cent to N4.9bn in the first quarter of this year from N4.3bn in the first quarter of 2014.

Its underwriting profit decreased by 26 per cent to N479m in 2015 from N651m in 2014, which it noted as reflecting a strong performance displaying positive outcomes across most key technical indices but dampened by an adverse development in the claims ratio due to settlement of the US dollar denominate claims that were inflated by the effects of negative currency movement experienced in the last quarter of 2014.

Continental Re’s loss ratio increased to 49.3 per cent from 42.9 per cent due to the impact of high claims for both life and non-life business, it stated.

The company’s total assets grew by 13.3 per cent to N30.7bn in 2015 from N27.2bn in 2014; its shareholders’ funds rose to N16.2bn from N14.7bn and its return on equity for the quarter stood at five per cent which was higher than the four per cent recorded last year, it added.

“The company is poised to build upon this promising start to the year to deliver on expectations through the second quarter to year end by continuing to leverage its strong financial condition and market positioning in Africa. Primary focus areas remain sustained volume growth, improved operational efficiencies, and the development of critical skills,” Oyetunji said.


Culled from Punch