Royal Exchange plc, a financial services group with interest in life and general insurance, microfinance, asset management and healthcare has recorded a gross premium written of N9.43 billion at the end of 2014 financial year, an increase of 4 percent from N9.08 billion in 2013.
The Company’s total assets also rose by 28 percent to close at N26.27 billion as against N20.27 billion the previous year, an increase of 28 percent, says Kenneth Ezenwani Odogwu, chairman of the board at the Company’s 46th Annual General Meeting in Lagos.
While keeping its own side of the contract, the Company during the review year met claims obligation to the tune of N2.43 billion. Also from a profit before tax N315.63 million, Royal Exchange Plc is paying a dividend of 2 kobo per 50 kobo share held by members of the Company.
The low profit Odogwu said was as result of the rise in management expenses which rose to N3.09 billion in 2014 compared with N2.53 billion in 2013. This was attributable to on-going branch expansion, retail business development and investment in e-business and information technology, he said.
On the future prospect, he said “We also see significant growth in Takaful and micro-insurance services in the retail insurance space, as a means of boosting insurance penetration and driving financial inclusion amongst the lower income class”.
According to the chairman, emphasis will be on channels and product innovation to reach a large portion of the economically disadvantaged section of the 170 million populations.
“The explosion of on-line retail shopping platforms, telecommunications and microfinance banking are already providing alternative sales distribution channels to stretch retail insurance services to fingertips of the citizens.”
As always, Royal Exchange stays abreast with many of the initiatives mentioned in the quest to grow market share and attain leadership position.
“Our three year transformation plan is a testament to the fact that we are and have always been on course. The group is presently streamlining major components of her businesses, service delivery, processes and operations to deliver superior returns in the medium term to our shareholders. This makes us believe we took the right step, in the right direction with the right strategy.
Chike Mokwunye, group managing director (GMD) said the performance of Royal Exchange Group in 2014 was a show of resilience. “At group level, we ran a two prong business growth approach focused on sustaining old businesses and at the same time acquiring new direct businesses.”
Mokwunye stated the Company also diversified its revenue base by deepening its tentacles in traditional financial services markets and concurrently branching out into frontier market segments.
Mokwunye said moving forward, the Company wish to reassure its shareholders that there would be more stringent cost monitoring measures put in place to in the forthcoming year to once again improve efficiency levels. We also believe the current steps undertaken for expansion would translate to improved revenue growth in the medium term, the GMD assured.