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Kenya Re hits Sh3.5bn profit on premiums rise

Kenya Re chairman David Kemei and acting managing director Michael Mbeshi (right) during the presentation of the insurer’s financial results at the Hilton Hotel on Thursday, March 29, 2018.  PHOTO | DIANA NGILA |NMG
Kenya Re chairman David Kemei and acting managing director Michael Mbeshi (right) during the presentation of the insurer’s financial results at the Hilton Hotel on Thursday, March 29, 2018. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA |NMG 

Kenya Reinsurance Corporation (Kenya Re) has posted an 8.8 per cent rise in after-tax profit in the year ended December, which the listed re-insurer attributed to an increase in its gross written premiums and investment income.

Kenya Re net profit stood at Sh3.5 billion in the period compared to Sh3.2 billion the year before.

The firm’s net earned premiums during the period under review grew eight per cent to Sh13.7 billion as the business reaped from expansion into new markets.

Acting chief executive officer Michael Mbeshi said the re-insurer, which offers covers to more than 160 insurance companies spread out in over 45 countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia is eyeing new markets across the globe in the face of stiffening competition.

“We have witnessed a steady growth in retakaful sector. We have also received a huge boost in our regional business through our expansion into southern African markets like Botswana and Mozambique as well as French-speaking West African states,” said Mr Mbeshi.

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Eye of the storm

Kenya Re has recently been in the eye of a storm after it sent home its former managing director, Jadiah Mwarania.

Mr Mwarania has gone to court to protest the sacking.

The re-insurer’s gross written premiums went up 12.12 per cent to Sh14.8 billion from the Sh13.2 billion reported in 2016.

The firm’s earnings from investments grew by three per cent to hit Sh3.16 billion this year compared to Sh3 billion in the previous period.

Earthquake compensation

Net claims incurred increased by 14 per cent from Sh6.68 billion to Sh7.59 billion on the back of the earthquake related compensation pay-outs in Nepal and floods experienced in India, said the re-insurer.

The board of directors of the re-insurer recommended a final dividend payout of 0.85 per share to shareholders same as that declared last year.

Mr Mbeshi observed that the firm is dealing with stiff completion from domesticated reinsurers in countries like Ethiopia and Uganda.

Kenya Re Board chairman David Kemei however said the firm plans to leverage on its five year strategy that will see it invest in foreign reinsurers in efforts to remain relevant in countries it has operations.

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