12 July 2017

Nigeria: Sti Posts N4.1bn Premium As NSE Lifts Suspension

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Tuesday lifted suspension on the trading of shares of Sovereign Trust Insurance (STI) Plc. The insurance firm was among those suspended by the exchange for failing to submit its audited accounts for the period ended December 31, 2016 within the stipulated period.

However, the NSE said the company has submitted the results. It explained: "In view of the submission of the relevant accounts and our satisfaction that the accounts complied with our applicable rules, the Exchange has lifted the suspension of trading in the shares of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc."

Meanwhile, STI, in its unaudited financial statement announced gross premium written of N4.1billion for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017.

This represents 78 per cent growth from N2.3 billion the company made in the first quarter of 2016.

The underwriting company's profit rose from N571million in 2016 to N746m in 2017, representing 30 per cent growth rate while investment income also grew by 12 per cent from N121 million in 2016 to N135 million in 2017.

The profit before tax grew by 102 per cent from N241 million in 2016 to N488 million in 2017.

Head Corporate Communications of STI, Mr. Segun Bankole, said in a statement that worthy of note is the fact that the company's management expenses reduced from N402 million in 2016 to N369 million in the same period in 2017.

"One can attribute this development to the management team's commitment to reducing cost of operation as much as possible with the ultimate aim of delighting its shareholders," he said.

According to him, notwithstanding the harsh operating environment that has beclouded the operations of so many insurance companies and other corporate organisations in the Q1of the year especially at a period that the Nigeria is still in recession, STI was able to record meaningful appreciation in all its financial indices.

"Going by financial statements, which was recently released by the organisation, one can only say that indeed, it has been a season of impressive performance.

things are actually looking up considering the company's first quarter performance in 2017," Bankole said.

Speaking on the operating environment for the insurance industry generally he said:"No doubt, the year 2017 started on a very shaky note shrouded in uncertainty and a very bleak business outlook for some insurance companies, riding on the premise that some of them fell short of their expectations and aspirations in year 2016 as a result of the negative effects of the recession

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