Regional insurer, Britam Holdings Plc, has reentered the profit territory after posting Kes72.1 million net earnings for the year ended December 31 from a loss of Kes9.1 billion suffered a year ago.
The profit growth was anchored on a 33.1 percent rise in income to Kes40.2 billion from Kes30.2 billion on improved underwriting and interest revenues.
“It has been three months since I took over as Group chairman and I can tell you already Britam is a brand that will be growing from strength to strength,” board chairman Kuria Muchiri.
In the year under review, the Group muted the growth in costs with total expenses falling marginally to Kes38.9 billion from Kes39 billion in December 2020.
The Group’s total operating costs were down 15.8 percent to Kes11.3 billion. This was despite a one-off business transformation cost that the insurance business incurred as the group rolled out a transformational strategy.
In March last year, Britam send about 140 employees home in an exercise that cost the firm about Kes700 million.
The retrenchment, let go some of its executive positions mainly in the company’s Kenyan unit as the firm sought to slash corporate and shared service costs; eliminate redundant hierarchies while pushing for a more competitive and efficient insurer.
The drastic measure came barely a month after Britam appointed former Group managing director Tavaziva Madzinga following the retirement of Benson Wairegi who led the company for four decades.
“When it comes to our key property, we have seen a rise in occupancy at Britam Tower to 86 percent,” Acting Group Managing Director Charles Kimani revealed.
The company said revenues from regional general insurance businesses grew by 3.3 percent to Kes8.1 billion accounting for 25.5 percent of the Group’s gross premiums booked.
“Our focus for the next 5 years will be dubbed EPIC. It will be a transformational strategy to grow the customer base through a focus on customer-centricity, said Mr Kimani.
The narrow profit has nevertheless seen the underwriter forgo the issuance of a dividend to shareholders.