Linkage Assurance shareholders applaud growth despite tough operating environment

Shareholders of Linkage Assurance Plc have applauded the company’s performance, which saw it grow its Gross Premium Written (GPW) by 34 per cent in the 2021 financial year in spite of the challenging business environment.

A cross section of the shareholders including Bisi Bakare, who spoke at Linkage Assurance Plc’s 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, said the operating environment had become increasingly competitive and commended board and management for making deeper inroads into oil and gas, aviation and agriculture businesses, among others.

Linkage Assurance Plc during the year under review grew its GPW to N11.16 billion from N8.33 billion in 2021 financial year, while the net underwriting income was N6.26 billion, as against N5.076 billion the previous year.

Chairman of the board, Joshua Fumudoh, who announced the performance, said growth in revenue could not translate to profitability because of huge claims that hit the company in 2021, including losses to the #EndSARS protests.

Fumudoh said: “The aftermath of the 2020 #EndSARS protests took a toll on the insurance industry and Linkage was not exempted. The total #EndSARS claims for the insurance industry was about N20 billion while Linkage Assurance Plc’s exposure amounted to N1.1 billion.”

He, however, noted that the company was proud to have met its obligations to her teaming customers by enabling them to return to their business despite the huge losses.

In addition to #EndSARS, other two major claims occurred in 2021 for which provision of N1.5 billion and N750 million has already been paid.

While assuring the shareholders of better performance in the current year given its first quarter and second quarter performance, he said: “We will continue to refine our strategy in line with the political, economic, sociological and technological changes in the industry.

“We will also continue to develop innovative products, alternative channels of distributions and strategic initiatives that will enable us to achieve our corporate goals and objectives. With a medium-to-long term perspective, we believe that we will benefit from growth in these initiatives, Fumudoh stated.

While responding to shareholders’ questions, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Linkage Assurance Plc, Daniel Braie, pledged commitment to meeting its claims obligation despite the challenging business environment.

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Informing that the company paid out whopping N3.99 billion claims in 2021 financial year, against N2.41 billion in 2020, Braie said its reinsurance capacity was strong to continue to meet its obligations.

On outlook, Braie said management was looking at measures to cut operating expenses and portfolios divestment of unprofitable insurance businesses, while aligning operating costs of distribution channels with their revenue generation potential.

On new lines of business, he said: “In line with our strategic focus, we have developed a bouquet of Agricultural Insurance products as risk management initiatives for both small, medium, and large-scale farmers and agribusiness.

These include Livestock Insurance Solution, Multiperil Crop Insurance Solution, Fish Farm & Fisheries Insurance, Poultry Farm Insurance, Area Yield Index Insurance and Farm All Risk (Material Damage).”

“We have embarked on extensive digital transformation, this is expected to be one of the major drivers of operational efficiency as it will improve our business process, eliminate wastages, and positively impact our performances.”

Consequently, we shall be executing our strategic initiatives in line with our 2022 strategic focus, which is hinged around four business pillars of growth including operational, financial, customer and people excellence.

To improve our business process and services, we will commence the first phase of our digital transformation plan during the year, the CEO assured.

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