Linkage Assurance delights shareholders with dividend, bonus pay-out in COVID-19 year

From left: Okanlawon Adelagun, Executive Director, Technical; Daniel Braie, Managing Director; Joshua Fumudoh, Chairman, and Moses Omorogbe, Company Secretary, all of Linkage Assurance Plc at the Company’s 27th annual general meeting held in Lagos.

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Chuks Udo Okonta

Shareholders of Linkage Assurance Plc has commended the board and management for the company’s performance in 2020 despite challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

The shareholders, who spoke glowingly with excitement during the company’s 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos, applauded Company leadership for the dividend and bonus in a year that capacity and strength of businesses managers were tested.

Sir. Sunny Nwosu, National Leader Emeritus, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria; Boniface Okezie, Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria; Nona Awoh, Shareholder Mathew Akinlade, President, Noble Shareholders Association among others noted that the decision of Linkage Assurance to pay dividend and bonus issue at this critical time underscores the value it attaches to her investors.

They also noted that this is despite the fact that the industry is going through a recapitalisation exercise, and requiring more money to meet the regulatory requirement.

The meeting which was hybrid, in compliance with government COVID-19 restrictions, gave approval to capitalisation of N2 billion retained earnings for bonus issue of two shares for five shares held by members of the company; as well as dividend payout of N500 million, translating to 5kobo per share.

Chairman of the Board, Chief Joshua Fumudoh, responding to the shareholders on recapitalisation plans of the Company, assured that Linkage Assurance has put in place strategies to recapitalize the company.

According to him, given the performance in 2020, and the capitalisation of N2 billion at this meeting today, we are sure we will deliver the Company when the recapitalization exercise is called up again.

Going into the future, he said “As we gradually commence recovery from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we will tread cautiously into the year 2021 in our risk acceptance and operations, in line with our strategic roadmap. We shall continue the repositioning strategy aimed at transforming your company to that desired position in the Nigerian insurance market.

Daniel Braie, Managing Director/CEO of the Company responding to shareholders questions, explained that the Company will continue to redefine its strategies to ensure better performance and increased value for the shareholders.

Going into the future, Braie said “We will continue to refine our strategy in line with the political, economic, sociological, and technology changes in the industry, particularly with impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business landscape.

He said the company will continue to develop innovative products, alternative channels of distribution, and strategic initiatives that will enable us to achieve our corporate goal and objectives. With a medium-to-long term perceptive, we believe that we will benefit from growth with these initiatives.

According to him the on-going rebranding embarked upon by the company is part of the strategic initiatives to re-position the company.

Linkage Assurance in its FY’2020 result impressed the market, recording gross written premium N8.3 billion, an increase of 28 per cent YoY from N6.5 billion in 2019, while total assets also rose by 18 per cent YoY in 2020 to N33.9 billion, compared to N28.7 billion in 2019.

The company also witnessed significant improvement in other indices, with underwriting profit growing by 102 per cent, from N0.4 billion in 2019 to N0.8 billion at the end of 2020.

Its Profit Before Tax during the period under review was N2.5 billion, compared to N1.3 billion in 2019 representing 89 per cent YoY growth, while Profit After Tax was N2.4 billion, increasing by 65 per cent from N1.5 billion in 2019.

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