Mu­tual Ben­e­fits As­sur­ance Re­turns to Prof­itabil­ity, to Pay N160m Div­i­dend

THISDAY - - MARKET NEWS -

Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuo­gie

Share­hold­ers of Mu­tual Ben­e­fits As­sur­ance Plc will re­ceive a to­tal div­i­dend of N160 mil­lion for the fi­nan­cial year ended De­cem­ber 31, 2017 as the com­pany has re­turned to prof­itabil­ity. The in­sur­ance firm did not pay any div­i­dend for 2016 year be­cause of the loss N1.346 bil­lion it recorded. The com­pany was plunged into a loss po­si­tion in 2016 due to a foreign loan de­nom­i­nated in dol­lar, which was af­fected by the de­pre­ci­a­tion of the naira that year. How­ever, the firm has bounced back to prof­itabil­ity in 2017 with a profit of N1.023 bil­lion. De­tails of the au­dited re­sults showed that Mu­tual Ben­e­fits As­sur­ance Plc recorded gross pre­mium writ­ten of N14.038 bil­lion, an in­crease of 16 per cent from N12.144 bil­lion in 2016. Gross pre­mium in­come rose by 11 per cent from N11.983 bil­lion to N13.353 bil­lion, while net pre­mium in­come stood at N11.467 bil­lion, in­di­cat­ing a growth of 12 per cent above the N10.271 bil­lion posted in the 2016. The com­pany ended the year with a profit af­ter tax of N1.023 bil­lion, com­pared with a loss of N1.346 bil­lion in 2016. Pleased with the re­sults, the board of di­rec­tors has rec­om­mended a div­i­dend of N160 mil­lion for the share­hold­ers to ap­prove at the com­pany’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in July. The div­i­dend trans­lates to two kobo per share. The Chair­man of the com­pany, Akin Ogun­biyi had re­cently given in­di­ca­tion that the share­hold­ers would smile as the com­pany would re­turn to prof­itabil­ity. Ac­cord­ing to him, the pre­vi­ous year was very tough for op­er­a­tors, but de­spite this, the com­pany was able to re­turn to prof­itabil­ity.

‘’Twenty years af­ter, the com­pany still stands, de­spite re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion and tough oper­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment. Last year was tough for every­body, but as tough as it was, we are able to re­turn to prof­itabil­ity,’’ he said. Mean­while, the Nige­rian Stock Ex­change All Share Index (NSE ASI) de­pre­ci­ated by 0.83 per cent to close at 40,651.41 yes­ter­day as bears re­turned to the mar­ket. The mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion de­pre­ci­ated by 0.83 per cent to close at N14.73 tril­lion.

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