By Nse Anthony-Uko
ABUJA, (Sundiata Finance) – Consolidated Hallmark Insurance PLC is set to raise N2.5 billion additional capital or its equivalent whether locally or internationally or a combination of both, after its shareholders agreed that the company should go ahead to do so.
The N2.5 billion, the company said, would be raised through either private or special, public offerings right issue or a combination or any other methods it deem fit. The insurer is expected to do so, through issuance of shares, convertible securities or depository receipts or any other instruments, whether as a standalone transaction, which would be determined by the directors, subject to obtaining the approvals of the relevant regulatory authorities.
Meanwhile, the company posted a Net Premium Income of N3.51 billion in its 2016 financial year, up by 10 per cent from N3.19 billion recorded in 2015. Disclosing this at the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company in Lagos, its chairman, Mr Obinna Ekezie, said the company also recorded growth in claims payment as it rose from N1.34 billion in 2015 to N1.73 billion in 2016, an increase of 29 per cent.
While this sharp rise in claims cost is of concern, he stated that company met all its claims obligations to its customers promptly and without a single borrowing. However, he pointed out that the firm generated Gross Premium Income of N5.83 billion in its 2016 financial year, as against N6.04 billion posted in 2015, translating to about four per cent drop, even as its Profit Before Tax also declined to N368 million from N705 million in 2015.
The company was able to grow its Total Assets from N7.02 billion in 2015 to N7.44 billion in the current financial year, representing six per cent growth, he stressed.
Ekezie announced to the shareholders that the company is paying a dividend of N120 million, which translates to two kobo per share. This gesture, he said, is to further demonstrate the commitment of the company to reward its shareholders in spite of the tough business climate.
In the same vein, the managing director of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance PLC, Mr Eddie Efekoha, disclosed that the insurer has finalised plans to revamp its agency unit to enable it position appropriately for micro insurance, taking advantage of the volume of sales accruable from the low-income class. Prompt and quality service delivery, according to him, will be designed to ensure that all customers are left with long lasting impression.