Royal Exchange Plc, a financial services group with interest in life and general insurance, microfinance, asset management and healthcare, said its gross premium written rose by four per cent to N9.43bn in 2014 from N9.08bn in the 2013 financial period.
A statement obtained from the company on Sunday said the Chairman of the company, Kenneth Odogwu, disclosed this during the firm’s 46th Annual General Meeting in Lagos.
It stated that the company’s total assets also rose by 28 per cent to close at N26.27bn from N20.27bn in 2013.
The company said it paid N2.43bn claims during the year under and added that its profit before tax stood at N315.63m and would pay a dividend of two kobo per 50 kobo share.
Odogwu said the low profit was as a result of the rise in the management expenses, which rose to N3.09bn in 2014 from N2.53bn in 2013.
He attributed this to ongoing branch expansion, retail business development and investment in e-business and information technology.
“We also see significant growth in Takaful and micro-insurance services in the retail insurance space, as a means of boosting insurancepenetration and driving financial inclusion among the lower income class,” he stated.
According to the chairman, emphasis will be on product innovation to reach a large portion of the economically disadvantaged section of the nation’s 170 million people.
“The online retail shopping platforms, telecommunications and microfinance banking are already providing alternative sales distribution channels to stretch retail insurance services to fingertips of the citizens,” Odogwu said.
He said the group was presently streamlining major components of its business, service delivery, processes and operations to deliver superior returns in the medium term to its shareholders.
The Group Managing Director, Chike Mokwunye, said the performance of Royal Exchange in 2014 was a show of resilience.
“At group level, we ran a two-prong business growth approach, focusing on sustaining old business and at the same time acquiring new ones,” he said.
Mokwunye said that the company also diversified its revenue base by deepening its tentacles in traditional financial services markets and concurrently branching out into frontier market segments.