QIC reports 91% of the full year 2017 profits in H1 2018
Improved underwriting performance reflects portfolio shift to lower volatility business
Doha, 25 July 2018 - Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), the leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North African (MENA) region, announced its financial results approved by the board for the first half of 2018.
In H1 2018 QIC Group recorded growth in Gross Written Premium (GWP) of 5% to QAR 6.6 billion. This performance reflects the steady and systematic expansion of QIC Group’s international operations, which has further expanded in select low volatility classes.
The MENA markets continued to generate stable premiums and underwriting profitability, weathering unabated geopolitical headwinds. Against this backdrop, the Group reported profits to the tune of QAR 384 million, representing 91% of the full year 2017 profits.
The Group’s international carriers, namely Qatar Re, Antares and QIC Europe Limited (QEL) posted GWP growth of 9% to QAR 4.9 billion vis-à-vis QAR 4.4 billion in H1 2017. QIC’s domestic and MENA operations driven by the Company’s Life and Medical insurance subsidiary, QLM, headquartered in Doha, remained stable. The Group’s international subsidiaries in Bermuda, the UK and Malta accounted for approximately 74% of QIC’s total GWP, compared with 71% in the first half of 2017
Investment Income has dropped from QR 563 million in H1 2017 to QR 408 million in H1 2018. The 27% y-o-y drop in investments income can be mainly attributed to certain one off investment gains booked in H1 2017. Further reclassification of certain types of investment securities post adopting IFRS 9 from 1st Jan 2018 resulted in increased mark to market losses in H1 2018.
The Group’s net underwriting result increased by 26% y-o-y and amounted to QAR 330 million compared with QAR 263 million for the same period last year. QIC, in the previous quarter, recorded negative reserve developments on some older contracts in areas of business that are no longer within the company’s risk appetite and have been discontinued accordingly. In addition, QIC continued to apply its recently adopted strengthened reserving governance and philosophy, resulting in a more cautious view of ultimate loss projections and a slower release of prior-year IBNR reserves.
Low-severity high frequency business now accounts for about 43% of QIC’s total underwriting portfolio.
During the reporting period, QIC further improved its already exceptional operational efficiency. In the first half of 2018 the administrative expense ratio for its core operations came in at 6.3%, down from 7.9% in the same period of the previous year. The Group continues to reap the benefits from its ongoing endeavor towards process efficiencies and automation.
In the same context of operational streamlining in June 2018 the Group announced its intention to suspend the writing of all new and renewing facultative business from Qatar Re’s branch office in the Dubai International Financial Centre. Distribution throughout the MENA region will continue to be provided by the QIC Group’s existing operations in Doha, Dubai, Oman and Kuwait.
Commenting on the financial performance for H1 2018, Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Group President & CEO of QIC Group stated, “QIC is making excellent progress in repositioning its international book towards areas of lower volatility. The most recent global treaty renewals in April, June and July and the softer rate developments have confirmed our bearish view on the prospects of traditional low-frequency high-severity business. Our earlier decision to de-emphasize volatility has proven right.”
He further continued, “The Group’s outlook for the remainder of the year is cautiously optimistic. Our exposure to the geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the vagaries of global (re)insurance pricing is relatively moderate. QIC’s very strong risk-based capital adequacy, in combination with the scale and diversification of our business portfolio, will underpin the Group’s resilience going forward.”
Earlier in July 2018, Standard & Poor’s affirmed QIC’s financial strength rating of A/Stable, referring to the Company’s “strong business and financial risk profiles, its scale, diversified premium base (by geography and product), and ability to post good results”.