By Rosemary Onuoha
Linkage Assurance Plc has rewarded its shareholders with a bonus issue of one for four shares by the capitalisation of N1 billion from the Company’s general reserve account.
This is coming on the heels of achievements made by the Company in 2019 financial year when it recorded a Gross Premium Written (GPW) of N6.52 billion from N5.39billion in December 2018, a 21 percent increase, while profit before tax (PBT) also increased from N134.70 million in 2018 to N1.34billion, representing an 894 percent increase.
Joshua Fumudoh, Chairman of the Company speaking during its 26th Annual General Meeting held in compliance with Covid-19 directives, said despite the increasingly difficult operating environment Linkage Assurance made appreciable progress in all fronts.
He said the Company achieved an underwriting profit of N409 million in 2019, compared to the N772 million losses in 2018, while net claims paid was N1.7 billion compared to N2.7 billion.
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The significant reduction in net claims, Fumudoh said, was a result of improved underwriting and effective reinsurance arrangement.
Some shareholders appreciated the bonus issue, describing it as palliative to shareholders particularly at this time, expressing optimism that Linkage is positioned to pay better dividends in the coming years.
Fumudoh in his further remarks commended the management and staff for the performance of the Company, stating that they demonstrated uncommon commitment and dedication to the growth of the business despite the stiff competition and the harsh operating environment.
Mr. Daniel Braie, Managing Director/CEO of Linkage Assurance speaking at the meeting said the Company during the year under review crafted a Five-Year Strategic Road Map that will guide its operations in achieving both her short and long term goals.
The four strategic pillars in line with its Balanced Scorecard Framework, Braie noted, include business growth, financial excellence, operational excellence and customer intimacy.
Braie said: “In line with our strategic focus and business growth initiatives, the last quarter of 2019 was our starting point in delivering on our strategy.
“Using an agile approach and with strong dedication, we were able to achieve a signiﬁcant milestone in revenue. This achievement acted as a catalyst to our desire to do more for both our shareholders and the customers.”
According to him, the Company has embarked on digital transformation to improve her services especially to the millennials and remote customers.
“In the bid to expand our product oﬀerings and in response to demands from the market, we are also concluding approval processes to underwrite agricultural insurance risks.
“In the year 2020, we would embark on several initiatives in a bid to eﬃciently achieve our corporate objectives as enshrined in our Five-Year Strategic Plan.
“Part of what we would do is to communicate to every unit and department the overall strategic focus for the year and the speciﬁc initiatives, goals and objectives exclusive to their deferent departments.”
Linkage Assurance, a general business underwriter currently has total assets in assets of N28.7 billion at the end of 2019 financial year.
Meanwhile, Agusto & Co had recently affirmed Company A- status and this confirms on the Company’s satisfactory financial condition and adequate capacity to meet claims obligation as well as a stable outlook.