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Britam bounces back from Sh2.2b loss to book Sh3.5b profit

BUSINESS
By Wainaina Wambu | April 6th 2020
Britam Group Managing Director Dr. Benson Wairegi. [Wilberforce Okwiri/Standard]

Britam Holdings has returned to profitability after posting a Sh3.5 billion net profit for the year ended December 31, 2019.

The diversified financial services firm attributed the recovery from a Sh2.21 billion loss in the previous year to increased premium earnings and its international insurance business.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm’s gross earned premiums rose by 17 per cent, while the international business contributed 19 per cent of the group’s insurance revenue.

Shareholders are now set to earn a dividend of 25 cents per share or Sh630.9 million after missing out on a payout the previous year.

“The group’s asset base has increased by 21 per cent to Sh125 billion from Sh104 billion in December 2018, while shareholders’ funds have increased to Sh29 billion, a 23 per cent growth from 31 December 2018,” said Group Managing Director Benson Wairegi (pictured), while announcing the results.

Mr Wairegi expressed optimism for the business this year, but acknowledged the rough road ahead owing to risks such as the Covid-19 pandemic, locust invasion and a decline in the stock market’s performance. “The Group is optimistic that there will be concerted effort to mitigate the effects of these adverse developments to the economies and the world at large,” he said.

The life assurance business returned 27 per cent after its embedded value growth to Sh16.9 billion, with Wairegi noting its profitability would “generate additional value to the shareholders in future”. Britam’s improved results were also backed by growth in investment income (dividend and interest income) owing to increased investment in high earning fixed income securities as well as stock market gains.

The asset management business grew by 55 per cent in 2018 to Sh227 billion in 2019.

 

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