By Patience Saghana
Lasaco Assurance Plc recorded an underwriting profit of N139 billion in 2008 as against N835 million achieved in 2007. This represents a growth of about 67 per cent from the companyâ€™s core insurance business.
Chief Akin Leigh, Lasaco Assuranceâ€™s chairman who disclosed this at the 29th annual general meeting in Lagos, stated that the gross premium income also increased from N1.77 billion in 2007 to N2.33 billion in 2008. This translates to about 32 per cent growth.
He added that â€œit has also enhanced our direct marketing and customer relationship management interface that now enables the conclusion of transaction/business cycle with customers in few minutes. We expect to feel the full impact of this development in our earnings and profitability from 2009.â€
Looking ahead, he assured that the board will intensify its drive for change, transformation and growth, pointing out that these processes would include strict cost reduction, organisational right-sizing and restructuring. Leigh further promised that the company shall also continue to promote high standards of corporate reporting and governance throughout the company.
He added that the boardâ€™s vision for Lasaco in the next 10 years is of a cost effective, well governed and efficiently managed company, profitable and out-performing competition in all segments of its business and delivering high returns to its investors.
The actual premium earned also grew by 56 per cent from N1.33 billion in 2007 to N2.07 billion in 2008, while its total assets rose from N8.6 billion in 2007 to N8.74 billion, representing a growth of about 32 per cent.
After having made provision for a total of N533 million for bad and doubtful debts in line with statutory requirements, the profit before tax of Lasaco was N610 million in 2008, while its profit after tax was N458 million.
During the last operating year 2008, the underwriting firm incurred net claims of N360 million compared to N262 million recorded in 2007. This shows an increase of about 37 per cent.
It also recorded general business net premium written to the tune of N1.51 billion, a 42.45 per cent improvement on the N1.06 billion, which it netted in the previous year, while premium earned in this respect appreciated by 52.48 per cent, rising from N1.01 billion in 2007 to N1.54 billion last year.
Lasaco Assurance incurred claims to the tune of N263.25 million with respect to its general business, a 23.49 per cent improvement in customersâ€™ expectation met and surpassed. In the previous year, general business claims incurred by the group peaked at N213.18 million.
In respect of its life insurance operations, Lasaco Assurance raked in premium written to the tune of N545.46 million, a 43.36 per cent improvement over the N370.15 million recorded in the previous year.
The companyâ€™s life premium earned rose to N542.24 million up from N319.54 million that was made in the previous year, a 69.69 per cent improvement. Claims incurred in this class of business rose by 92.63 per cent, moving up from N47.89 million in 2007 to N91.58 million last year just as its surrenders rose significantly by 217.16 per cent, having peaked at N5.36 million last year as against N1.69 million in the previous year.
Within the same period, the companyâ€™s underwriting profit rose significantly by 67 per cent from N834.65 million in 2007 to N1.39 billion last year. Investments and other incomes raked in by the company last year fell by 39.89 per cent, falling from N845.72 million in the previous year to N508.34 million last year.
The company also puts its profit before taxation at N609.90 million, a 29.98 per cent shortfall from the N871.06 million recorded the previous year. This was after writing off N213.56 million lost as a result of the volatility of the capital market, which resulted to diminution in share value.