KENYA – Financial service group, Britam Holdings has posted a profit of Ksh3.5 billion (US$33.06m) in earnings for the period ending December 31st 2019 from higher investments gain.

In 2018, the insurer fell into Ksh2.2 billion (US$20.76m) loss after taking a sizable hit from its investments in publicly listed firms.

The Group’s total income grew by 38 per cent in 2019 to Ksh36.4 billion (US$343.81m) as the firms marked a Ksh4.8 billion (US$45.34m) fair value gain from its financial assets from a Ksh3 billion (US$28.34m) loss in 2018.

Further, Britam saw its earnings from underwriting grow to Ksh23.6 billion (US$222.91m) from Ksh21.7 billion (US$204.97m) as gross earned premiums hit Ksh27.7 billion (US$261.64m) in the period.

The insurer however registered a loss in its properties investment, losing Ksh747 million (US$7.04m) from a Ksh507.2 million (US$4.9m) gain in 2018.

The Group’s individual business registered mixed results with Britam’s Life Assurance Company booking a Ksh2.6 billion (US$24.56m) profit from a Ksh567.6 million (US$5.45m) loss from higher income.

Britam General Insurance Company and Britam Asset Managers meanwhile booked losses of Ksh185.4 million (US$1.75m) and Ksh124.3 million (US$1.17m) respectively from lower net earned premiums and unrealised losses in investments.

From the resulting higher earnings, the board of Britam has recommended the payment of Ksh630.9 million (US$5.96m) in dividends to shareholders, an equivalent pay of 25 cents per share from Ksh1.41(US$0.013) in earnings per share (EPS).

The firm says it remains engaged in its strategy to grow its portfolio of products to customers and investments in technology against the challenging operating environment.

“The group’s asset base has increased by 21 per cent to Ksh125 billion (US$1.18bn) from Ksh104 billion (US$0.98bn) in December 2018, while shareholders’ funds have increased to Ksh29 billion (US$273.9m), a 23 per cent growth from 31 December 2018,” said Group Managing Director Benson Wairegi, while announcing the results.

Mr Wairegi expressed optimism for the business this year, but acknowledged the rough road ahead owing to risks such as the Covid-19 pandemic, locust invasion and a decline in the stock market’s performance.

“The Group is optimistic that there will be a concerted effort to mitigate the effects of these adverse developments to the economies and the world at large,” he said.

The board of directors recommend the payment of a dividend for the year of Ksh630.9 million (US$5.96m) or 25 cents per share.