United profits up 55%

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(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

United Insurance Company SC (UNIC Ethiopia) has registered massive achievements in the past fiscal year with 55 percent profit growth.
In its annual general assembly held at the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel on Thursday November 14, UNIC disclosed that its gross profit for the 2018/19 financial year stood at 121.2 million birr, which is one of the top in the industry.
The net profit stood at 106.6 million birr, which is a 55 percent growth compared with the preceding year’s insurance business or operation profit.
Although in the 2017/18 financial year the company’s net profit stood at 123.7 million birr, Meseret Bezabih, CEO of UNIC, told Capital that the previous year’s profit was high as the insurer had secured large revenue from the sale of its shares in Raya Brewery which BGI Ethiopia fully took over last year.
“Comparing the performance of the two years, that is the 2018/19 financial year’s operation with the 2017/18, in terms of insurance business, the latest year’s achievement is over half of the preceding year’s,” Meseret clarified.
In the 2017/18 financial year, UNIC secured close to 56 million birr from its share sales at Raya Brewery, which is located in Maiychew town, 667 km north of Addis Ababa. It has played a role in increasing the insurance company’s profit for the period.
According to the annual report of UNIC, the 2018/19 underwriting profit stood at 173.5 million birr, which was only 121 million birr in the 2017/18 performance period.
The report indicated that the net income of the past financial year expanded to 258.5 million birr when compared with the 237 million birr a year before last year.
One of the pioneer private insurance companies not only in terms of operation but also in terms of paid up capital, UNIC has registered several significant achievements for the past financial year.
For instance, the loss ratio has declined to 60 percent. The loss ratio for the year 2017/18 was 68 percent; that means the latest performance has declined by 8 percent, which is rare in the sector.
UNIC has also registered the highest premium compared with the industry average. For the reported year the company collected 533.6 million birr in premiums from both general and life businesses, which has increased by 13 percent compared with the preceding year. Since the sector premium increase is 6 percent that indicates that UNIC’s premium growth trend was over double compared with the industry performance.
According to the company report , from the general (non life) insurance business UNIC was able to register close to 495 million birr premium that was 438 million birr a year ago and about 39 million birr from life sector. Due to weak performance in the export /import business, the marine premium has declined, while other businesses grew during the period, according to the annual report.
During its 11th extraordinary meeting held a year ago shareholders agreed to double the company capital to half a billion birr that is one of the highest in the sector. Of the 500 million birr capital, close to 375.6 million birr is paid up as of June 30, 2019.
Based on the 2018/19 fiscal year that is closed on June 30, 2019 the total asset of UNIC has reached to 1.52 billion birr from 1.34 billion birr a year ago.
A week ago the company has inaugurated its head quarter located at Tewodros Square. This new facility increases the assets of the company that also owns two other buildings in Addis Ababa, in Qality and Bole Medhanealem area and one in Bahir Dar. The 12 storey head quarter that has a unique set up of four basement parking areas rests on 2,000 square meters and consumed 300 million birr.
In its 25 year history, the company has settled over 1.7 billion birr in claims for its customers. At the same time the company has settled 7.5 million birr in claims for PVT (political violence & terrorism) insurance coverage, a product that was recently introduced in the country and very few other insurance companies offer.
UNIC was formed by less than 100 share buyers has now 478 shareholders, according to the annual report, while it has 50 branches including 12 contact offices. The company was formed in 1994 with a paid up capital of 8.1 million birr.
This year three insurers including UNIC and one bank celebrate their 25th anniversary in different programs.