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Chuks Udo Okonta
Underwriting firm, Linkage Assurance Plc has recorded a 431 percent growth in profit after tax (PAT) for the financial year ended 31stDecember 2017. The figure grew from N544.6 million in 2016 financial year to N2.891 billion in the review period.
The profit before tax (PBT) also appreciated by 218percent, from N942.65 million in 2016 to N2.996 billion at the end of 2017.
Linkage Assurance also boosted its bottom-line from investment income, which grew significantly by 260 percent, from N951.349 million in 2016 to N3.426 billion in the review year.This according to the Company came fromthe 2015 and 2016 dividend income from Stanbic IBTC Pension Limited which was received during the year and that led to a significant growth of 2,616 percent in the dividend income to N3.2 billion from N116million in 2016.
In the Company’s full year financial result submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Linkage Assurance Plc achieved gross premium written of N4.102 billion as against N4.032 billion, indicating a 2 percent increase, while the gross premium income inched 6 percent to close at N4.186 billion at the end of 2017, as against N3.966 billion the previous year.
Just as the insurance business remains volatile with a horrendous claims hitting the industry, Linkage during the year under review paid out claims amounting to N1.038 billion, as against 613.196 million in 2016.
This therefore impacted on underwriting profit which dropped 53 percent to close at N456.86 million, as against N980.79 million in 2017.
The company also grew its total assets to N23.308 billion at the end of 2017, moving up by 15 percent from N20.331 billion in the previous year.
Management said it will continue to refine its strategy in line with the political, economic, sociological and technological changes in the industry.
“Also we will continue to develop innovative products, alternative channels of distributions and strategic initiatives that will enable us achieve our corporate goals and objectives. With a medium-to-long term perspective, we believe that we will benefit from growth in these initiatives.”
During the 2017 financial year, Linkage developed array of retail products targeted at deepening penetration and increase revenue. These include the Linkage Third Party Plus, which is a budget friendly motor insurance that provides not only the compulsory Third party protection but an additional Own damage protection to the tune of N250,000, and is only available in the company.”
Other products launched by the Company are the Linkage SME Comprehensive, Citadel Shield (which provides compensation as a result of injuries from accident for pupils and students in recognized academic establishments); Linkage Events Xclusive Insurance, Linkage Shop Insurance, Purple Motor Plan (comprehensive motor cover exclusively for women), and the Linkage Estate Insurance.
“We have already deployed our online portal to make our products and services available to our customers especially the digital savvy customers and enterprises.
The Company also said it will consolidate on new initiatives to improve operational efficiency so as to reduce the cost of doing business, improve business processes, eliminate wastages and achieve higher margins in her core business.