By Azael Masese
CIC Group weathered a tough 2017 to record double digit growth in all its critical market segments, positioning itself as a key financial market player particularly in the co-operative sector.
The company posted Sh14.9 billion in premium in the financial year ended as at 31st December 2017 compared to Sh12.4 billion recorded the previous year, representing a 21 per cent growth.
Group Board chairman Japheth Magomere attributed the growth to the implementation of the 2017-2021 five year strategy, which informed their action plans during the year.
Speaking during its 8th Annual General Meeting at Hilton Hotel, Nairobi, he noted the 21 per cent growth was realised despite Insurance companies facing challenges unique to the industry such as price undercutting, fraud and drought, subsequently increasing the level of claims.
“Despite these factors, we remained focused on achieving a strong performance that would position us well in the market,” he said.
Profit before tax rose remarkably from Sh114 million in 2016 to Sh519 million in 2017, representing a 355 per cent improvement.
Its asset base also grew by 13 per cent from Sh26.9 billion in 2016 to Sh30.5 billion in 2017.
The group also registered an investment income of Sh3.5 billion during the year under review compared to Sh3.0 billion reported the previous year.
Following the 2017 financial performance, the board recommended paying a dividend of 12 per cent, up from 10.5 per cent in 2016.
Magomere remained optimistic that 2018 has better tidings for the group, which will largely be boosted by having implemented key strategies that are set to drive all their lines of business towards achieving the intended growth.
“The group business in Kenya and the region will continue focusing on the customer,” he said, adding that they will continuously improve their products to ensure that they meet the need of the target customer.
The company will also closely be monitoring the market trends, including the ever changing customer need to ensure that it is responsive and well positioned to take advantage of emerging market opportunities.
“We have invested in technology to help us understand the customer better” he said, noting that this will go a long way in serving tomorrow’s customer who will largely be driven by accessibility and convenience.
Besides, the group is also using technology to smoothen its business process, which will enhance customer satisfaction due to improved service.
The full utilisation of its technological systems also seeks to aid reduction of costs.
“To grow our business, we will continue to strengthen our relationship with all our stakeholders and collaborate with like-minded organisations, to achieve our goals.
“In particular, we shall focus on deepening our relationship with players in the cooperative movement to safeguard our interests and support its growth,” noted the group chairman.
Magomere said the group will work with partners forming its distribution channels to widen the reach of insurance in Kenyan households and our regional markets.
With the implementation of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) customer relationship management (CRM) as well as continued management of claim costs, the Board is confident that this will see an improved future improved performance of the company.
He further stated that efforts are being put in place top rope the youth into the cooperative movement as part of their International Cooperative Alliance.
“CIC will continue playing its role as a leader in the cooperative movement and work towards positioning the cooperative model as ideal in building business enterprises, achieving economic empowerment and a sustainable future,” Magomere stated.