Despite sluggish economic growth and falling commodity prices, Qatar Insurance Group recorded 49% year-on-year growth in Gross Written Premium (GWP) to QR 8,347 million (2014: 5,614 million). Net Insurance revenue for the year increased by 39% to QAR 926 million (2014: QAR 663 million).
The Annual General Meeting that was held yesterday at the Four Seasons Hotel was chaired by Mr. Abdulla bin Khalifa Al-Attiya, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors. The shareholders of the group approved increase in the Companya��s capital from QAR 1.84 billion to QAR 2.43 billion, the recommended distribution of cash dividend payout of 25% for the year ending 31st December, 2015 and an issue of Bonus Shares in the amount of 1 share for every 10 held. Approval was also granted for QICa��s consolidated financial statements, Independent Auditora��s report, and Board of Directors and Corporate Governance reports for 2015 amongst other matters. The appointment of auditors for 2016 was also determined during the AGM.
The progress in the Groupa��s business placed additional demand on the requirement of capital to support strategic growth in the business. In order to facilitate further growth and increase sustainability, the shareholders approved the recommended issuance of shares as rights to its existing shareholders at the closing date on Tuesday 1st of March 2016, of 1 share for every 5 shares held at a price of QAR 50 per share.
The Group has continued to apply global standards and best practices in its assessment of the current and future solvency and capital adequacy requirements to ensure it remains well positioned and capitalized as it pursues its strategic goals of expansion in the years to come.
QICa��s audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2015 highlight record Gross Written Premiums (GWP) of QAR 8.35 billion, a strong growth of 49% on the previous year. Key drivers of growth included reinsurance premiums, generated through , QICa��s dedicated global reinsurance subsidiary, Qatar Re, which grew at a rate of 116%, now accounting for 50% of the groupa��s total premium income.
QIC Groupa��s consolidated net profit for the full year 2015 came in at QAR 1,064 million, compared to QAR 1,025 million for the same period last year. This result reflects regional economic and investment headwinds due to lower oil prices and continued softening of global reinsurance and specialty insurance markets. Against the backdrop of growing regional and global financial market volatility, the groupa��s net investment result came in at QAR 712 million. This was partially offset by a very strong net underwriting result of QAR 926 million, a significant increase of 39% on the previous year. QICa��s overall profitability also benefited from the Groupa��s continued cost discipline.
Return on Equity for the reporting period came in at 18.1%, against 18.4% in the previous year. This result compares favorably with both QICa��s regional peers as well as diversified international insurance and reinsurance groups. At 31 December 2015, QIC Groupa��s shareholdersa�� equity stood at QAR 5.99 billion, up by 1% from QAR 5.92 billion at the end of 2014.
Referring to the Groupa��s financial performance in 2015, Group President and CEO Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey commented: a�?2015 has been a watershed year for the global economy which was confronted with multiple challenges that caused substantial disruptions across both developed and developing economies. With top line improvement, continued cost rationalisation and our strategy to respond and adapt to the changing market and economic dynamics through innovation, diversification and by capitalising on market synergies, we have recorded growth of 49% in GWP y-o-y in the face of significant macroeconomic headwinds.
The year 2016 is likely to be a challenging year as the world adjusts to dipping oil prices, increasing interest rates and slower rates of growth from China. However, our outlook remains cautiously positive on the prospects of growth in the emerging markets. By offering innovative solutions and quality services, we will continue to maximize value for shareholders, trusted business partners and customers while supporting development of the sector and the economy.a�?