Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), the leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North African (MENA) region reports a net profit of USD 75 million for the first quarter of 2019. The MENA markets continued to produce stable premiums with underwriting profitability, weathering geopolitical headwinds in the region. QIC’s international operations grew in select low-volatility segments and now account for 76% of its total portfolio. The Group’s gross written premiums remained stable at USD 969 million in Q1 2019. The combined ratio improved by 1.4 percentage points to 100.2%.
Commenting on the financial performance for Q1 2019, Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Group President & CEO of QIC Group stated, “For QIC, the first quarter was a period of stability and consolidation. As part of our de-risking effort, we have adopted a more selective approach to writing new business, rewarded by an improving technical performance. QIC remains firmly committed to shifting to lines of business with lower volatility where we see a more attractive risk-return potential.”
He continued, “In addition to underwriting, QIC’s investment prowess and commitment to operating efficiency continue to bear fruit and are essential to sustaining the Group’s overall profitability. Based on the strength and diversity of our performance engines, I remain confident in QIC’s future growth and profitability prospects, which should further benefit from what appears to be a slightly firming global re/insurance trading environment.“
|Figures in USD million||Q1 2019||Q1 2018|
|Gross written premiums||969||976|
|Net written premiums||835||834|
|Net underwriting result*||46||32|
|Non-life combined ratio||100.2%||101.6%|
|Consolidated Net profit||75||65|
|Earnings per Share (in USD) ; 2018 restated||0.21||0.18|
|Net investment result||76||75|
|Q1 2019||Q4 2018|
*Net underwriting result is defined as net earned premium reduced by the sum of (i) gross claims paid, (ii) reinsurance recoveries, (iii) movement in outstanding claims, (iv) net commission expense, and (v) other insurance income.
In Q1 2019, QIC adopted a more restrictive and selective approach to new business generation, reflecting the company’s continued focus on de-risking its book and placing more emphasis on low-volatility segments. Gross written premiums (GWP) remained stable at USD 969 million.
The Group’s international carriers, namely Qatar Re, Antares, QIC Europe Limited (QEL) and its Gibraltar based carriers continued to expand in select low-volatility areas and now account for approximately 76% of QIC’s total GWP, compared to 73% in the first quarter of 2018.
The Group’s net underwriting result improved by 45% to USD 46 million compared to USD 32 million for the same period last year. This positive development reflects the Group’s successful shift towards lower-volatility business which provides a predictable long-term stream of profits. In addition, the improved technical performance is a result of the de-risking of non-profitable business across QIC’s international units in 2018.
For the first quarter of 2019, QIC reports a non-life combined ratio of 100.2%, compared with 101.6% for the same period of the previous year.
Overall, the Group’s net profit for Q1 2019 increased by 15% to USD 75 million, driven by both improving underwriting results and resilient investment income.
The Group recorded stable investment income of USD 76 million, compared to USD 75 million for the same period last year. QIC’s total investment return, including capital gains and losses, amounted to an annualized 6.2%.
QIC’s investment prowess continues to draw accolades from industry professionals, as most recently at the MENA Fund Manager Performance Awards 2019 where the company’s investment teams were awarded for the best fund performance in two categories: Qatar Equity Fund and QIC GCC Equity Fund.
During the reporting period, QIC has vigorously maintained its focus on streamlining operations in order to further improve its operational efficiency. At Q1 2019, the administrative expense ratio for its core operations came in at 6.1%. The Group’s ongoing endeavor towards process efficiencies and automation continued to yield fruit.
In January 2019 Gunther Saacke, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Re, the Bermuda-based reinsurer and member of QIC Group, announced his decision to leave QIC Group and Michael van der Straaten, Chief Underwriting Officer for Long Tail and Specialty Classes, was confirmed as new Chief Executive Officer.
In February 2019, Antares, the Lloyd’s Managing Agency and member of the QIC Group, appointed current Active Underwriter Jonathan (Joe) Battle as Chief Executive Officer, replacing Stephen Redmond who has assumed the newly created role of Group Transformation Officer.