The President and CEO of Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited (SJ), Christopher Zacca, provided an overview of the Company’s performance for the past year, today at the Annual General Meeting. The theme of the annual report for financial year 2017 is “Driving Growth Through Performance and Innovation.” The CEO further expounded that, “this speaks to the legacy of performance and the need for innovation going forward to drive continued stellar results.”
For the past 18 years Sagicor Jamaica has shown steady growth in profitability and this continued for the financial year 2017. Sagicor Group Jamaica comprises of a large number of subsidiaries, the main operating are Sagicor Life Jamiaca, Employee Benefits Administration, Sagicor Investments, Sagicor Bank, Sagicor Life of the Cayman Islands and the Sagicor Pooled Investment Funds among others.
In the CEO’s address to shareholders, he elaborated on the financial performance of the Group where a number of factors were highlights which contributed to company’s great achievements. Mr. Zacca stated that, “in 2017 the Company reported a $12.07 billion which represents a 7.2% increase over 2016.” Revenue growth has also been steady with an 18% increase in the FY 2016/17 which was significantly contributed by a large annuity premium in 2017 from Red Stripe. The CEO further stated that, “we acquired the pension funds’ assets and converted them into an annuity which amounted to about $6 billion. In addition, equity also moved up significantly from $56.41 billion in 2016 into $68.50 billion in 2017 an increase of 21%.”
In terms of cost management, “the efficiency ratio that measures the operating cost as a percentage of normalized revenue for non-recurring items, has a 1% uptick from 29% to 30%.” Mr. Zacca noted that, “This reflects the growing role that our banks generally have higher efficiency ratios than insurance companies and as such the larger the banks grow then the greater the efficiency ratio.”
Return on equity (ROE) dipped, however equity grew by 21% for 2016/2017and was significantly affected by items of retirement provisions which were positively impacted and did not find their way into net profit and was pointed out by the CEO as a good performance. There was also an increase in pay-outs of dividends averaging about 40% of net profits in dividends to shareholders.
With regards to individual business, he remarked, “the individual life contributed a third of our net profits, employee benefits slightly above a 37%, Sagicor Bank 14% and Sagicor Investments 16%. On a macro level insurance is two-thirds of our profits, banks is a third and clients creating diversity and gives the company the opportunity to be a true full service provider of financial services.” From a geographic perspective, the majority of revenue is dominated in Jamaica (95%) versus that of Cayman Islands (5%). Expense benefits profile has not changed as much as death benefits amounts to 14%, surrenders and withdrawals holding steady at 4%, segregated fund withdrawal at 25%-27%, annuities payments holding 17%, health benefits declined as a percentage of the total benefits paid to 37% to 34% and other. Individual life highlights include a policy count of 520,000 inforced policies, revenues 16% better than 2016, new business annual premium income 12% and another industry record year in Jamaica at $3.39 billion. According to, “Market share in Jamaica increased to 61% from 57% and our net profit in individual life was up 27%. Employee benefits another strong performer with revenues 20% better than that of 2016.”
The year 2017 can be considered a transitional year for Sagicor Group Jamaica as Mr. Christopher Zacca took up the Presidential role in May 2017 from Mr. Richard Byles which later led to some organisational realignment and several changes to the Executive leadership Team. These changes have helped to further strengthen and position the Group to deliver top-class performance demonstrated in improved measures such as profitability, brand recognition, client’s satisfaction, team member’s satisfaction levels and total return to stock holders.
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