From left: Ms. Sheila Ezeuko, Company Secretary/Group Head, Legal Services, Royal Exchange Plc; Kenneth Odogwu, Chairman, and Wale Banmore, Acting Group Managing Director, at the event in Lagos.
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Chuks Udo Okonta
Royal Exchange Plc, Nigeria’s premier insurance and financial services group, has said it generated a Gross Written Premium (GWP) of N14.7 billion from its business activities as at ended December 31, 2018, representing an increase of 15 per cent, when compared to the figure of 2017, which stood at N12.8 billion.
The Chairman, Royal Exchange Plc, Kenny Odoqwu, who disclosed this today during the company’s 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, noted that the firm’s Net Premium Income (NPI) for the period amounted to N9.1billion which is a 29.7 per cent growth over the 2018 figure, while net underwriting profit amounted to N9.73billion in the financial year under review.
Underwriting profit, he said went up to N3.67 billion in the 2018 financial year, up from N1.05 billion in 2017, while Net Income stood at N4.35billion, from the corresponding figure of N2.4billion in 2017.
A further analysis of the operating results showed that the Total Assets of the group witnessed a growth of 6.74 per cent, from N33.2billion in 2017 to N35.53billion as at December 31, 2018.
Net claims paid for the period under review amounted to N3.1billion, an 8 per cent marginal reduction from the 2017 figure of N3.42billon.
From left: Ms. Sheila Ezeuko, Company Secretary/Group Head, Legal Services, Royal Exchange Plc; Kenneth Odogwu, Chairman, and Oluwale Banmore, Acting Group Managing Director; Chief Anthony I. Idigbe (SAN), Director, and Alhaji Rabiu Muhammad Gwarzo, Director at the event.
The Chairman noted that despite the very harsh operating environment, the group was able to deliver a better result in 2018 against the previous years and this was achieved through cost optimization initiatives, innovation in key categories and extensive retail market expansion as well as by participating in large-ticket financial transactions.
According to Odogwu, “Royal Exchange Plc envisions a situation where the retail insurance market should be able to contribute between 50-60 percent of our revenues in the future, as the retail market is the future of insurance in Nigeria, considering the population of the country.”
He further added that with the recent approval from the National Insurance Commission to undertake agricultural insurance, the company has entered into strategic alliances with various stakeholders in the agricultural space to drive insurance with that sector of the economy and in the couple of months, revenues will start coming in from there.
Speaking further, he noted that “Royal Exchange Plc, will in the years to come, continue to be an aggressive player in the retail market in Nigeria and will be looking at different strategies to increase its product offering and visibility in the marketplace, while not losing track of the corporate market, where the returns and margins, are getting thinner, yearly.”
The Chairman noted that streamlining major components of the group’s businesses is a continuous exercise especially in the areas of service delivery, processes and operations to deliver superior returns in the medium term to shareholders through digital transformation.
Cross-section of shareholders at the event.
The group has recently acquired a new insurance software and this will go a long way to enhance our operations and enable the group provide fast and efficient services to our customers. This will further enhance our on-going transformation processing involving the revamping of our mobile banking app for our Microfinance Bank, Internet Banking and USSD Banking, procurement of a USSD code for the sale of all our subsidiaries’ products, ongoing development of a new website with call-to-action/sales capabilities, deployment of a core solution for our healthcare business, among other activities, all geared towards ensuring we remain the leading insurer that we are known for.
“The company has implemented various cost optimization strategies and business process re-engineering measures which shall guarantee profitability in both the current financial year and the years ahead. Our re-engineering process will center on three main pillars, namely Digital Transformation; Efficient Distribution Channels and Business Process Remodeling.
“As a group holding company with five subsidiaries across the insurance and financial services landscape, it has become of vital importance that we seek to improve our efficiency across the group by leveraging on cost discipline, astute capital allocation and investments and deployment of operational know-how to make Royal Exchange Plc a leaner, faster, smarter and customer-centric organization. That the company has repositioned itself to meet the ever-changing needs of the clients, wherever they are, offering them products and services they want, when they want it and how they want it.
“For the future that we behold, our goal is to continuously redefine, reinvent and differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. The focus of the Board and Management of the Group is to achieve sustainable growth for the company through deepening our revenue base, improving service delivery and its support systems and at the same time, keeping costs in check,” he stated.
He posited that in line with recent regulatory announcements, the company is already making arrangements to shore up the capital of the subsidiaries in order to meet up with the new NAICOM requirements and it is more than confident of the future of the group, despite the hostile business environment.
Coordinator Emeritus, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) Sir. Sunny Nwosu making a remark amid shareholders at the event.
Coordinator Emeritus, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) Sir. Sunny Nwosu, lauded the company for its giant strides, whilst encouraging the board and management to do more and sustain its place of pride in the industry.
Royal Exchange Plc started operations in 1921 and continues to be driven by innovation and a determination to offer services that are of exceptional value to its customers. Following the recapitalization exercise in 2007, the company was reorganised into a group structure comprising Royal Exchange Plc as the holding company and five strategic subsidiaries namely:
▪ Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Limited (Non-Life Insurance Services)
▪ Royal Exchange Prudential Life Plc (Life Assurance Services)
▪ Royal Exchange Finance Company Limited (Financial Advisory Services)
▪ Royal Exchange Healthcare Limited (HMO and Health Insurance)
▪ Royal Exchange Microfinance Bank Limited (Banking Services)