Middlesea Insurance p.l.c. held its Annual General Meeting at the Radisson Blu Resort, St. Julians.
During his speech, MSI Chairman Mr Martin Galea reported that the Group profit before tax in 2013 amounted to €17.3m. He explained that these results were achieved on the back of a strong pure technical underwriting result registered by Middlesea Insurance as well as a positive technical and investment returns registered by MSV Life. The result is all the more credible after considering the loss of the company's largest agency in early 2013, which accounted for around 18% of Middlesea’s total premium income in 2012.
Mr Galea stated that Middlesea continues to invest very heavily in human resources and IT to enhance the customer experience with the Group.
Mr Galea noted that in the global environment the crisis that rocked the Eurozone and much of the world continued for most of 2013, however we are seeing some optimism as the Eurozone countries are slowly moving out of recession and back into growth.
The Chairman also commented on the recent changes to the operational structure of MAPFRE Group, of which Middlesea is a member of. These changes will enhance the support the MAPFRE Group will provide its subsidiaries around the world. He pointed out that MAPFRE remains a global player in the insurance world, represented in 47 countries and having a consolidated global turnover in excess of €25.89 billion and attributable profits of €790.5 million.
Mr Galea thanked the President and CEO , Alfredo Munoz Perez and the management team for their energy and wholehearted efforts in driving the company forward, as well as to all the staff and members of the distribution network who continue to provide an excellent and professional service to customers.
The Annual General Meeting was also addressed by Mr. Alfredo Munoz Perez, President and CEO of Middlesea Insurance. He described 2013 as “another positive year for the Middlesea Group.”
During the year, the total assets of the Middlesea Group increased by 8% to a total €1.44 billion. Total equity including non-controlling interests increased by 6.6% or €8.7 million when compared to 2012.
He explained that notwithstanding the improvement in the pure technical result, the decrease in allocated investment income by €0.78m (due to the lack of any capital gains and compounded by foreign exchange losses) was the reason for the reduction in the technical account balance.
Mr Munoz said that the earnings per share attributable to shareholders have reached a very positive level of €0.066. In fact, this year gross dividend amounted to €0.045 per share( €0.038 (net)) , in line with the company’s policy to deliver a return to its shareholders.
Middlesea has continued to grow in spite of adverse market conditions and it is confident that it will be able to achieve further growth in the local insurance market. It is a company where employees and distributors can grow and a company stakeholders can trust. He reiterated the company’s mission to become the most trusted insurance company, to maintain position as leaders and innovators and to be a good corporate citizen.
In line with the company’s objective has taken a number of initiatives, such as the launch of a new commercial structure, a multi-channel distribution philosophy, heavy investment on IT systems, which includes presence in social media as well as a wider product offering, new services like the 24-hour claims notification service.
Mr Munoz said that following the implementation of the new commercial structure in the company, Middlesea has opened a regional office in Birkirkara to service better its customers and intermediary network besides offering motor-surveying services facilities which provide additional convenient and cost-effective services to our customers.
In his conclusion, he stated that looking forward, the company seeks to maintain a long-term relationship with all stakeholders, focus on client retention and strong technical performance, improve business processes through operational innovation, focus on strong corporate governance and enhance CSR initiative through Fundación MAPFRE.
During the AGM, the shareholders approved a final gross dividend of €0.045 per share amounting to a total dividend of €4,140,222 (2012: €2,300,000) as proposed by the directors. All other resolutions presented during the AGM were approved.
Mr Martin Galea was re-appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Middlesea Insurance p.l.c. at the Board Meeting convened immediately after the Annual General Meeting. The Board of Directors, during the said Board meeting, co-opted Mr Nikolaos Antimissaris, from MAPFRE, as a non Executive Director. Mr Nikolaos Antimissaris is the Regional CEO for Europe, Middle East & Africa within the MAPFRE Group.
Middlesea Insurance p.l.c. (C-5553) is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority to carry on both Long Term and General Business under the Insurance Business Act, 1998.