Qatar Insurance, Qatar’s leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North African region has made a good start to the year by chalking up robust financial results for the first quarter of 2017. The Board of Directors approved the consolidated financial results at the board meeting that was held recently.
On the back of solid expansion across its key geographical markets, lines of business and client segments, QIC Group’s performance and reported pace of premium growth for Q1 2017 is in line with the company’s expectations.
The group was successful at delivering a stable performance due to steady flow of income which stemmed from its prudent underwriting and investment prowess. Despite economic downturn and market volatility, QIC Group recorded 15% growth in Gross Written Premium (GWP) to QAR 3.09 billion in Q1 2017 when compared to the same reporting period in Q1 2016.
Key contributors to the reported growth in GWP can be attributed to the Group’s global reinsurance and specialty insurance subsidiaries, namely, Qatar Re and Antares in addition to its Life and Medical insurance subsidiary, QLM. The Group’s international subsidiaries in Bermuda, London and Malta reported growth at a rate of 37% and now account for approximately 69% of the Group’s total GWP.
Despite continued regional and global market turbulence and softening of rates, the Group recorded a significant increase in investment and other income which amounted to QAR 304 million, up by 51% as compared to the same period last year.
On account of spiraling costs that emanated from major claims, the Group’s net profit for the reporting period stood at QAR 302 million as compared to QAR 322 million in the same quarter last year. The net underwriting results decreased by 35% and amounted to QAR 179 million compared to QAR 277 million for same reporting period last year, as a result of change in Ogden Discount Rate announced by the ministry of justice in United Kingdom (UK) which modified the discount rate related to compensation to claimants of long term claims (personal injury) from (2.5%) to (-0.75%). This had a significant negative impact on the motor insurance business in UK with expected losses to the insurance market of USD 7 billion. Qatar Re, QIC’s subsidiary, had recognized the impact of this change in Q1 2017 which resulted in decrease in its net underwriting results.
For 2017, the Group has renewed its focus on streamlining operations for achieving enhanced operational efficiency. At Q1 2017, the administrative expense ratio for its core operations was at 8.5%. As of 31st March 2017, QIC Group’s shareholders’ equity stood at QAR 8.336 billion. Earnings per share for the first quarter in 2017 amounted to QAR 1.09 when compared to QAR 1.16 for same period last year.
Commenting on the financial performance for Q1 2017, Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Group President & CEO of QIC Group stated, “The results for Q1 2017 highlight the group’s sound risk management principles and constant endeavour at exploiting growth opportunities in emerging markets. We will continue to increase our book of business, build on our capabilities and expand our reach in order to introduce innovative products and services in the target markets”.
He further continued, “The Group’s outlook for the future remains cautiously optimistic. In the long term, our goal is to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, seize market opportunity as they arise whilst focusing on maintaining close proximity with our clients.”