East Africa’s largest Insurance Group, Jubilee Holdings has recorded a 15.8% increase in half year pre-tax profit to Kshs. 1.79 billion up from Kshs. 1.545 billion in 2014. Gross Written Premium revenue increased by Kshs. 1.3 billion to Kshs. 16.4 billion.
Group profit after tax attributable to shareholders grew by 23.4% to Kshs. 1.329 billion, while earnings per share rose to Kshs. 22.2 from Kshs. 18.0 in the previous year an increase of 23.3%. It is noteworthy that investment income recorded a 7.3% growth to Kshs. 0.65 billion in the first half of 2015 despite the drop in the stock market.
These positive results were achieved against a backdrop of an increasingly competitive regional insurance market leading to softening insurance premium rates, introduction of additional taxes in the region which increased the overall cost of insurance and an economic environment with major swings in currency values. The appreciation in the Kenya shilling against the Uganda and Tanzania shillings resulted in a reduction of Kshs. 500 million in gross written premium.
Jubilee Holdings Chairman, Nizar Juma attributed the growth to a consistent focus on the evolving needs of our markets and a commitment to creating sustainable value for our customers and business partners. “We are pleased with our very positive insurance results in an increasingly challenging environment, where loss ratios are on the rise partly caused by an increased incidence of fraud within the industry. This has necessitated that we manage our performance proactively and efficiently” said Mr Juma.
Jubilee’s long term business grew by 18.6% to Kshs. 4.9billion during the first six months of 2015. Within this sector, life business grew by 29.4% which is attributed to greater customer orientation, new product development, pricing efficiency and above all service delivery. The long term business in Uganda and Tanzania is delivered through separate life companies following completion of the composite split in compliance with the direction from the Insurance Regulatory Authorities.
Jubilee continues to lead in the regional medical insurance market with strong performances and recorded a 12.9% increase in medical gross premiums. Investment in products supported by a state of the art Medical IT system implemented recently in East Africa, forms the basis for improving claims control and customer experience in this line of business.
“Jubilee is focusing on continuing the growth in the medical and life business, and in developing micro insurance and banc assurance to increase accessibility of insurance across the region,” said Mr. Juma. The insurer recently launched a funeral cover named Family Shield which is designed to minimize the financial and emotional impact of an unexpected death on the surviving members of a family. Jubilee also partnered with Rafiki Microfinance bank to distribute its life insurance products. The move is expected to boost Jubilee’s bancassurance unit and increase insurance penetration in Kenya.
Jubilee Holdings Chairman Nizar Juma acknowledged that fraud continues to be a challenge in the industry and Jubilee continues to strive to improve the procedures, processes and controls over transactions to minimize the impact of such activity. “Indeed, Jubilee Kenya won the Fraud Detection and Prevention award at the Annual Insurance Awards by Think Business in 2014,” said Mr. Juma.
The board recommended a payment of an interim dividend of 20% or Kshs. 1.00 per share subject to withholding tax where applicable. The dividend will be paid on or about 6th October, 2015.