Britam recovers from pandemic effects to post Sh376.3 in net profit

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Regional financial services firm, Britam Holdings PLC has posted a profit after tax of Kshs 376.3 million from a loss after tax of Kshs 1.6 billion posted in the six months ending June 2021.

According to the firm, the improved performance is attributed to growth in premiums from new business and investment income from its broad investment portfolio.

The firm also registered significant growth in investment income following the moving of its investment portfolio to increase yields.

Investment income during the period grew to Kshs 4.9 billion, representing a 35 per cent growth compared to a similar period last year.

The Group also realized growth in revenue from both its local and regional businesses.

The regional businesses contributed 24 per cent of the Group’s gross earned premiums.

The Group’s gross earned premiums and fund management fees were up 5.7 per cent to Kshs 14.9 billion.

Britam’s Group Managing Director, Tavaziva Madzinga said: “The Group remains optimistic of sustaining profitability in 2021 on the back of an improving operating environment and gains from our new transformative strategy. In the short term, we will however continue to pursue prudent cost management initiatives and   maintain a stable solvency position.”

Britam recently completed its transformation process which entailed creating a leaner, agile and more customer-centric organization.

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Madzinga added that the transformation exercise is expected to accelerate delivery of its new strategic plan, which focuses on preparing the firm for growth by organizing the business around delighting the customer; leveraging technology; turning around key cost drivers and optimizing the profile and returns of its investments.

Commenting on the firm’s outlook, the company said the operating environment remains uncertain as the effects of Covid-19 on economic activities continues to impact individuals, businesses, and the economy in general.

“As the local and regional economies recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the firm is optimistic of improved performance across its local and regional businesses in the second half of 2021,” the firm said.

The Board of Directors did not recommend the payment of an interim dividend for the six-month period to June 2021.

Digital uptake

The results have been announced at a time when the firm says it has generated Kshs 1.4 billion in new business under its revamped digital channels following the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020.

The company operationalized a digital business transformation strategy that saw investments in automation of operations to improve customer experience.

“Currently, business efficiency has increased by 30 per cent across all operations with transactions processing cycle-time reducing from over 7 days in 2019 to the current less than 24 hours,” the company said.

The company has attributed its improved performance to growth in premiums from new business and investment income from its broad investment portfolio / courtesy

Britam said the move enables customers to manage their insurance portfolios, update and process their policies. Additionally, they will also be able to purchase their preferred investment options from the comfort of their smartphones.

Madzinga said that since they adopted a technology-led strategy, Britam has realized significant achievements.

“This move is firmly anchored in our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan that seeks to enhance customer experience by ensuring that we become a more customer centric organization. We are leveraging more on customer insights to drive relevant innovations” he said.

The MD said the Covid-19 pandemic catalyzed a more digital-savvy approach to growing and retaining their customer numbers.

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He added: “We will continue to digitize more products and grow customer numbers and revenue. Our plan is to fully eliminate manual processes by introducing standardized faster efficient systems by 2022.

The firm currently has digital partnerships with fintech and taxi-hailing apps to drive insurance and investment through innovative solutions and provide greater choices for customers.

Some of the key digital partnerships under Britam’s portfolio driving high investment appetite  include – a partnership with KOA, a Kenya-based fintech startup, to support savings and investments penetration, a deal with Little Cab that will see it provide insurance cover to more than half a million customers currently using the taxi-hailing app service and a pact with Cellulant that aims to provide its customers in Kenya with a seamless digital platform that offers them access to savings and investment products

 

Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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