As published on barbadostoday.bb, Wednesday 27 July, 2022.
After posting a five-fold increase in its profit for the financial year ending December 31, 2021, the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) says the first quarter of 2022 has produced a loss for the company.
In the last annual financial statement, ICBL executive chairman Joe Poulin told investors that at the end of 2020 the after-tax profit of ICBL stood at $4.3 million and by the end of 2021, the after-tax position had jumped to $21.2 million.
He disclosed that last year’s results were largely “driven by asset management net income of $21.4 million offset by losses in insurance operations”.
However, in his commentary on the first quarter results for the period ending March 31, 2022, the executive chairman said the company which he purchased from the Bermuda-based BF&M, had posted a $0.1 million loss, compared to the $2.7 million in net income for the corresponding period in 2021.
“Within the insurance operations, gross premiums increased by 3.6 per cent to $25.3 million, driven primarily by new business,” Poulin stated.
At the same time, he pointed out that earned revenue declined by 1.1 per cent to $14.7 million and this was duto a higher amount ceded to ICBL’s reinsurers.
He noted: “Insurance policy benefits and claim costs increased significantly by 23.3 per cent to $9.1 million.”
The Roebuck Street-headquartered company which closed its Six Roads, St Philip and Speightstown, St Peter branches after the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, said its operating expenses increased by 11.0 per cent to $8.2 million during the first quarter, compared to 2021.
“These results highlight the importance of driving profitability within our insurance operations through a continued focus on responsible underwriting and expense reduction through investment in technology,” the company’s Canadian investor noted.
Poulin added: “The company’s total assets were $366.6 million, with cash and cash equivalents of $70.5 million and shareholders’ equity of $137.2 million.”
According to him, the company’s management and board of directors would continue to “monitor the developments surrounding the global economy, such as geopolitical events, rising inflation and oil prices, supply chain disruptions, and the continued impact of COVID-19”.
However, he stressed that ICBL remained well-positioned to pay policyholders’ claims and to capitalise on opportunities as economic conditions begin to improve.