Listed underwriter CIC Insurance has reported a 30.7 per cent rise in net profit for the year ended December 31, 2018, buoyed by an increase in the value of premiums registered last year.
Net profit closed at Ksh625.4 million (US$6.2 million) up from Ksh478.5 million (US$4.8 million) reported in 2017 as gross written premiums surged by 11.4 per cent to Ksh16.6 billion(US$165.8 million ) up from Ksh14.9 billion (US$148.8 million) the previous year.
Gross earned premiums jumped 18.2 per cent to Ksh14.3 billion(US$142.8 million) from Ksh12.1 billion (US$120.8 million).
The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm's net income equally rose 9.6 per cent to close the year at Ksh17.1 billion up from Ksh15.6 billion a year earlier.
During the one year, claims and policyholder's benefits consumed Ksh9.3 billion an increase from Ksh7.9 billion spent in 2017, as total expenses including commissions and operating expenses went up to Ksh16.2 billion compared to Ksh15.1 billion the previous year.
The insurer closed the year with a total asset value of Ksh32.9 billion , a 7.9 per cent rise from Ksh30.5 billion a year earlier.
The firm's financials show net cash generated from operating activities marginally dropped to Ksh2.03 billion from Ksh2.09 billion the previous year. The firm evenly reduced spending on investing where net cash used was Ksh397.9 million compared Ksh2.5 billion in 2017.
"The company registered strong topline growth with improved quality of business in most of the lines of business. However, because of the prevailing market conditions,the valuation of our shares portfolio at the Nairobi Securities Exchange has significantly dropped," the company said in its financial results.
According to the management, the group focused on cost control measures resulting in lower operating expenses in 2018 which benefited the bottom line.
"Property valuations remained fairly flat in Kenya," the group which has adopted the IFRS 9 reported.
The directors recommend the payment of a first and final dividend of Ksh.0.13 per share totalling to Ksh 340 million compared to 2017's Ksh313 million.
The dividend is subject to shareholders' approval and payment will be subject to withholding tax. The payment will be made on or about May 31, 2019 to the shareholders registered at the close of business on April 30, 2019.
"The Group continues to focus on profitable growth, superior customer service and continued efficiency in terms of cost management and service delivery," the management said.