Royal Exchange Plc, an insurance and financial services group, has announced its results for the financial year ended December 31, 2017, showing Gross Written Premium of N12.8billion up from N12.5 billion in 2016. Net Premium Income stood at N7.1 billion and underwriting profit at N7.6 billion.

Net claims paid for the period under review amounted to N3.4billion, a reduction of four per cent from 2016 figure of N3.6billon. Net Income before management expenses totaled N2.4 billion, showing a slight dip from the N2.7 billion that was generated in 2016. However, loss after tax was N969 million as against N980 million.

The Group Managing Director(GMD) of the company, Alhaji Auwalu Muktari, stated that despite the very harsh operating environment, the group was able to grow its figures by participating in large-ticket financial transactions, as well as playing in the retail insurance market, which shall be a key growth driver in the years ahead.

According to him, the bottom-line did not turn out as projected due to increase in cost of doing business in the country, especially in the area of power generation and the general lull in the economic activities within the corporate markets.

He said with the recent approval from the National Insurance Commission to undertake agricultural insurance, the company has entered into strategic alliances with various stakeholders in the agricultural space to drive insurance with that sector of the economy and in the couple of months, revenues will start coming in from there.

“Royal Exchange Plc will in the years to come, continue to be an aggressive player in the retail market in Nigeria and will be looking at different strategies to increase its product offering and visibility in the marketplace, while not losing track of the corporate market, where the returns and margins, are getting thinner, yearly,” Muktari said.

He explained that the company has implemented various cost optimisation strategies and business process re-engineering measures which shall guarantee profitability in both the current financial year and the years ahead.

“Our re-engineering process will center on three main pillars, namely Digital Transformation; Efficient Distribution Channels and Business Process Remodeling, As a group holding company with five subsidiaries across the insurance and financial services landscape, it has become of vital importance that we seek to improve our efficiency across the group by leveraging on cost discipline, astute capital allocation and investments and deployment of operational know-how to make Royal Exchange Plc a leaner, faster, smarter and customer-centric organization”, He said also “that the company has repositioned itself to meet the ever-changing needs of the clients, wherever they are, offering them products and services they want, when they want it and how they want it,” he said.