BY NKECHI NAECHE ESEZOBOR——-Top Underwriter Cornerstone Insurance PLC said its Gross Written Premium (GPW) rose to N11.5 billion in the 2018 financial year.
The Chairman of the company, Mr Segun Adebanji disclosed this today at the company’ s 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos that the N11.5 billion represents a 25 per cent increase on the 2017 GPW.
He added that life Insurance portfolio recorded a growth of 48 per cent from the previous year, noting that this growth was driven by regulatory changes to Group Life Insurance pricing limits and the introduction of a new product targeted at retail segments and that the Individual Life.
Insurance portfolio grew by 370 per cent from the previous year (N621 million in 2018 from N132 million in 2017).
Gross claims incurred dropped to N4.53 billion from N7.74 billion in 2017 aligning more with the Industry average.
“The Engineering, Oil & Gas product segments continued to dominate our General Business portfolio with a combined contribution of 57 per cent of General Business Premiums (N4.13 billion), giving credence to the emergence of Cornerstone Insurance as a leading Special Risks Underwriter.
“In accordance with the provisions of IFRS 11, the completion of our Head Office building, which had been represented as a non-earning asset in our accounts, unlocked some value and contributed N2.31 billion to the Group’s profit. Nonetheless, the Board of Directors and Management did not relent on the cost control measures put in place in the previous year and our efforts reduced Operating and Personnel expenses by 13% from N3.09 billion in 2017 to N2.69 billion in 2018,” he said.
The chairman said the cumulative effects of the strategic focus on the company’s key growth drivers resulted in a return to profitability in 2018, adding that Profit before Tax for the year 2018 stood at N2.66 billion after a period of losses.
“NAICOM has, released a Circular dated 20th May, 2019, taken the decision to increase the minimum paid-up share capital of Insurance and Reinsurance companies. As a composite company, this represents an increase of 260 per cent for Cornerstone Insurance and for our General Insurance subsidiary, FIN Insurance Company Limited, it represents a 300 per cent increase.”
He noted that in line with NAICOM’s mandate, the Board of Directors had met to consider the firm’s strategic options and a plan is in place to ensure that the firm continues to participate fully and actively in the Industry after the June 2020 deadline.
The shareholders further gave the directors the nod to increase the company’s authorised share capital to increase from N7.5 billion, divided into 15 billion ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each to N20 billion, divided into 40 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo, by the creation of additional 25 billion ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each, and such new shares ranking pari passu in all respects with the existing in the share capital of the company.