Management, Tax Expenses Force Royal Exchange To 2018 Full-Year Loss

Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria Plc, on Wednesday, presented its delayed audited financials for the full-year ended December 31, 2018, posting yet another loss, following which the directors are unable to recommend a dividend for shareholders when they gather for their annual general meeting soon.
The loss resulted from the relatively huge management expenses, which increased from N3.095bn in the corresponding period of 2017 to N4.029bn, despite which the result could still have been marginally positive, if not for the three-fold jump in income taxes from N137.683m in 2017 full-year to N473.181m.
Nonetheless, loss after tax for the period however dropped by 85% from N969.643m to N156.176m.
Gross premium written for the period inched N1.89bn or 14.74% from N12.822bn to N14.712bn, the lion’s share of which was the N10.701bn earned from the non-life business, up from N9.538bn; followed by life valued at N3.819bn from N3.005bnb; while healthcare premium dropped to N191.809m from N277.81m. Unearned premium dropped from N574.62m to N465.334m, bringing gross premium income to N15.178bn, compared to the previous N13.396bn.
Reinsurance expenses dropped from N6.318bn to N5.992bn, resulting in net premium income of N9.731bn, as against the previous N7.601bn. Fees and commission income for the period rose marginally from N523.177m to N546.507m, bringing net underwriting income climbed from N5.33bn to N9.731bn.
Insurance claims and benefits incurred increased from N5.33bn to N6.025bn; insurance claims and benefits incurred soared to N2.867bn from N1.903bn; bringing net claims expenses to N3.157bn from N3.427bn. Changes in insurance contract liabilities was flat at N535.667m, as against the N523.792m of the 2017 financial year. Underwriting expenses at N3.435bn, compared to N2.596bn in the prior year, brought total underwriting expenses to N6.057bn, down from N6.548bn; following which underwriting profit jumped by N2.621bn or 248.99% from N1.052bn to N3.674bn.
Net interest income declined from N1.017bn to N128.937m; investment and other income soared to N355.768m from N56.147m, the share of profit on investment in associate increased from N14.471m to N20.164m; while net fair value loss on financial assets stood at N179.852m, compared to the previous N322.782m gain impairment charge on allowance dropped to N41.173m from N377.119m. Other operating income soared to N728.145m from N323.988m, even as foreign exchange losses at N338.488m, from the preceding full-year’s N2.829m gain, resulted in net income of N4.356bn, an improvement by N1.942bn or 80.49%, compared to the previous N2.413bn.
Arising from the management expenses, profit before tax was left at N326.866m, up from the N682.127m loss for the year.