Sagicor ‘holding its own’
In the face of “stress” from the Barbados economy and others in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and other challenges, regional finance giant Sagicor is sustaining healthy profits.
Chairman Stephen McNamara, reporting on the group’s performance for the nine months ended September 30, said the company had transformed a $4 million loss during that period last year to a near $80 million profit this year.
Having offloaded its burdensome European business, Sagicor’s main operations are in the Caribbean and United States. The chairman said these “continuing operations” contributed $44.8 million in net income “attributable to shareholders” compared with $47.6 million last year.
“Continuing operations comprising our businesses in the Caribbean and in the USA closed the period with total revenue amounting to US$751.4 million, and was US$39.2 million below the corresponding period in 2013. Net premium revenue stood at US$457.2 million, compared with US$506.1 for the same period in the prior year,” McNamara said.
He explained that “the lower premium income resulted from a decision to reinsure a significant portion of new annuity business in our USA segment, together with the fact that single premium annuity business was higher in 2013, when compared to 2014”.
“Our operations in the USA, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica are performing according to expectation. The Jamaican Government’s economic performance, compared to targets established under the International Monetary Fund Stabilisation Programme agreed in April 2013, reveals continuing improvement in prospects that is being widely recognised,” he said.
“With completion of the acquisition of the RBC Royal Bank’s operations in Jamaica, we expect Sagicor Bank to produce positive benefits for shareholders and customers alike. The economies of Barbados and the OECS countries are under stress, but we continue to pursue strategies to mitigate the impact on the conservation of our business and the sale of new policies in these territories. Against this background, the performance of our continuing operations has been creditable.” (SC)