CRE ‘s profit rise amid cautious optimism

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Continental Re has reported, as at half-year 2020, strong growth across all key metrics. It said gross premium income at NGN26.8bn ($71.7m) reflects 27% growth over 2019. Underwriting profit at NGN2.7bn ($6.9m) grew by 442% (2019: NGN457m/$1.3m).

The success comes amid the Covid-19 crisis. Dr Femi Oyetunji, group managing director, said: “These results come as we brace for the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, which continues to unfold. We remain cautiously optimistic regarding prospects for the year overall and, in conjunction with our partners, we look forward to better times ahead.

“We remain fully committed to playing our part in supporting our partners and the wider community through the pandemic, including prioritising financial donations through industry bodies in our various jurisdictions for sustainable and equitable use for the benefit of local citizens.”

Investment and other income at NGN1.4bn/$4.6m (2019: NGN1.2bn/$3.6m) reflected a 30% year-on-year growth, the company reported. Profit before tax at NGN4.4bn/$12.3m (2019: NGN1.1bn/$3.1m) represents a 300% increase.

“The strong contribution to the group’s half-year results from our entire network, with offices in Anglophone west Africa, east Africa, southern Africa, CIMA and North Africa, is a testament to the resilience wrought by our operating model that is anchored on geographic diversity. We shall continue to adapt and improve this model as we strive for superior efficiency,” said Dr Oyetunji.

At the same time, Continental Reinsurance Plc announced a change in the ownership structure of Continental Reinsurance Ltd (Botswana). After its recent acquisition of a minority 40% stake in the company, through its holding company, CRe African Investments Limited, from Botswana Insurance Company Ltd, Continental Reinsurance now holds 100% of the issued ordinary share capital in the subsidiary.

Dr Oyetunji commented: “The acquisition means not only growth in economic size, but also presents us with an opportunity to enhance our strategic influence and broaden our market appeal through the expansion of stakeholder segments that we actively interact with.

“Building on our talent growth and diversity strategy, we have appointed Francis Nzwili, previously with our Nairobi subsidiary, as managing director of the Botswana business. Francis comes on board with a wealth of experience in underwriting and business development that significantly complements the strength of the existing team. The position of managing director was previously held by Cas Hansa, who has taken up new strategic responsibilities as group head: underwriting and claims,” he added.

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