The 2018 audited financial statements of Lasaco Assurance Plc which was released last week Friday showed that the company had a good outing last year, with significant improvement across all the top and bottom lines. Gross written premium for the period rose by 35 percent from N6.67 billion in 2017 to N9.01 billion by December 2018. When the gross written premium was disaggregated, Lasaco Assurance generated N5.64 billion premium from non-life while N3.38 billion came from life assurance services. Net underwriting income of N5.22 billion in 2018 represented 31 percent increase over N3.99 billion earned in corresponding period in 2017.
The underwriting profit was more than doubled as it rose by 64 percent to N2.06 billion last year December as against N1.25 billion the company realised in 2017. Accordingly, 67 percent of the underwriting profit, or N1.39 billion was realised from the non-life services while 33 percent or N667.54 million came through life assurance services.
Investment income during the reference period was down by 14 percent to N753.68 million in 2018 compared with N874.67 million realised as at the end of 2017. Profit before tax at N958.20 million in 2018 witnessed 12 percent improvement when compared with N854.27 million made in corresponding period in 2017.
Profit after tax stood at N736.27 million while the total income of the year was N746.14 million as against N661.87 million and N527.29 million respectively in 2017, representing an increase of 64 percent over the 2017 bottom line.
Recall that in the last two weeks, Lasaco Assurance was one of the eleven companies the authorities of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) placed suspension on the trading of their shares following the breach of post listing rules, the announcement of its audited financial results for 2018 may or may not warrant the lifting of this suspension by the NSE, some industry analysts opined.
This is due to the fact that, presently, listed companies which abide strictly by the post listing rules have announced their closed periods for the announcements of their 2019 second quarter audited interim and unaudited financial statements.
Meanwhile, as last week Friday July 12, 2019, Lasaco Assurance Plc was yet to release its first quarter unaudited financial statement for the period ended March 31, 2019.
“It will be difficult to say whether the release of the audited financial statement for 2018 will make the NSE to lift suspension on the trading of Lasaco shares. First, the public has to understand that the penalty imposed on the company is not an indication that it is not doing well. But rather, it has to do with not meeting certain post listing rules of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“If you look at the NSE now, most companies have announced their closed periods for the second quarter of 2019. What that implies is that Lasaco has two results it has release as a matter of urgency. So, it is left to the management of the NSE to determine whether or not the suspension will be lifted”, Jinad Ahmad, an analyst with Meristem Securities, said.
On April 23, 2019, a statement signed by Gertrude Olutekunbi, company secretary, indicated why Lasaco Assurance might not release its Q1 2019 results as t when due.
“This is to inform the Nigerian Stock Exchange (The Exchange), our distinguished shareholders and the general public that I-ASACO Assurance Plc (the Company) will be unable to file its 1st quarter unaudited financial statements for the period ended 31 March 2019, within the deadline of 30 April 2019.
“The request for extension of time is due to the fact that the Company is yet to file its Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2018 (2018 AFS) as a result of the delays associated with the adoption and implementation of IFRS 9 on financial instruments and IFRS 4 (as amended) on insurance contract. The company is optimistic that the 1st Quarter accounts will be ready and will be released on or before 29th July, 2019”, the company said.
Canon Properties and Investment Limited controlled 10.44 percent stake in the company; Ibile Holdings, 27.65 percent while Nigerian citizens and association control 61.91 percent as at December 31, 2018.