By Ifeanyi Ugwuadu
Shareholders have commended Industrial And General Insurance Plc (IGI), for the companyâ€™s results_oriented local and continental business expansion programme, which yielded great dividends in terms of the size of the balance sheet, Group profit and stakeholder value in spite of the harsh operating environment in 2008.
The endorsement was given in Lagos at the companyâ€™s 17th Annual General Meeting (AGM), late last year.
Whilst applauding the Groupâ€™s N1.928 billion profit before taxation and industry_leading balance sheet size of N44.4 billion, shareholders urged the company to maintain its long_term investment strategy and portfolio diversification for sustained corporate growth and stability.
They expressed satisfaction with the companyâ€™s performance as well as its vision of deepening channels for the delivery of financial services to customers in the Nigerian market during the year when the company obtained a licence to run a separate company for the management of pensions.
Executive Vice Chairman, Mr. Remi Olowude, said that the strategic decision to move into the continent helped to mitigate the impact of the global economic recession and the collapse of stock value in the Nigerian capital market on the companyâ€™s overall performance.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Gen. Dr. Yakubu Gowon, said: â€œthis is the first time our company would be presenting a Group Financial Statementâ€ to incorporate and consolidate the results of IGIâ€™s Nigerian and foreign subsidiaries.
He re_stated the companyâ€™s commitment to maintaining steady growth and announced â€œa Bonus issue of one new share for every ten shares previously held at the close of business on 30 November, 2009.â€
The Chairman also expressed optimism that shareholders should expect to earn handsome dividends in subsequent years when the full effects of the current efforts begin to manifest.
â€œWith our industry_leading capital base and shareholdersâ€™ funds, the strength and knowledge of our people and enhanced deployment of internet_based technology for our operations, our company has moved closer to our goals of becoming the Number One insurance company in Africa and a leading player in the global insurance market,â€ he said.