Industrial and General Insurance's pan-African expansion enhances profitability
The expansion programme of Industrial and General Insurance Plc (IGI) through acquisition of subsidiary companies in some African countries has started to pay off, the company’s Executive Vice- Chairman, Remi Olowude, has said.
Olowude, who disclosed this while responding to questions during the 19th annual general meeting of the insurance company in Lagos recently, stated that the firm has returned to profitability as reflected in its unaudited management account for the year ended December 31, 2011,
He stated that all the parameters, viz: total assets, shareholders funds, gross premium income and profit before tax and earned premium have all improved compared to 2010.
With regards to the current status of IGI’s expansion project in Africa, the company’s executive vice chairman, announced that IGI has fully recovered its investment in National Insurance Corporation, Uganda, while Global Trust Bank also in Uganda, broke even in 2011 and has started making profit in 2012.
In Rwanda where IGI has 68 per cent in the largest insurance company called Sornawa, he said the company returned to profitability in 2011 and even declared dividends.
Olowude added that the company’s investment in BBCI Bank in Burundi has been earning dividend in the last three years, noting that the dividend for 2011 has been transferred to IGI already.
Addressing shareholders during the yearly meeting, the company’s Chairman, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, said IGI recorded an underwriting profit of N2.47 billion in 2010, reflecting the sustained efficiency of the company’s core risk-bearing business.
He said that the company achieved an increase of 11.6 per cent in gross premium income from N9.39 billion in 2009 to N10.44 billion in 2010.
The former Head of State explained that the delay in convening the meeting was not unconnected with the large number of subsidiaries both locally and internationally, pointing out that the financial statements of these subsidiaries must be consolidated with that of IGI.
In view of the fact that some of the subsidiaries outside the country had issues with the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), there was serious delay in the conclusion of their accounts and IGI could not conclude its consolidated account until all these financials were ready.
Gowon also said that the company remains financially strong with a capital base of N21.91 billion even though the Insurance Act 2003 requires composite insurance firm to have a capital base of N5 billion.
He said that the organisation looks forward to a rewarding future having already put in place cutting-edge market expansion and product innovation initiatives to take optimum advantage of the various macro-economic policies designed to broaden insurance penetration in the country.
By ROSEMARY ONUOHA