Mapfre Middlesea plc - Full Year Results and Dividend Announcement

Middlesea Insurance plc published the preliminary statement of annual results for 2005 following a Board of Directors meeting held on 28 April 2006.

The Directors have recommended the payment of an ordinary dividend of Lm875,000 (equivalent to 7c per share), an increase of 16.6% over the 6c dividend distributed last year. Moreover, to commemorate the Company’s 25th Anniversary, the Directors have declared a special dividend of 3c per share bringing the total dividend to 10c per share. Similar to last year, this dividend is being paid out of an untaxed account and shareholders are subject to a 15% final withholding tax upon distribution. This dividend will be paid to all shareholders on the Company’s register as at close of trading on 11 May 2006. Meanwhile, the Directors have also recommended a 2 for 1 share split implying a doubling of the Company’s issued share capital to 25 million ordinary shares whilst the nominal value will halve to 25c per share.

Total income from insurance activities for the Middlesea Group during 2005 amounted to Lm5.7 million representing a rise of 65% from the restated comparative figures of 2004. This was mainly brought about by a substantial improvement in the balance of the general business technical account, which increased from Lm2.4 million in 2004 to Lm4.1 million. Meanwhile, the balance on the long-term business technical account more than doubled to Lm0.4 million whilst the Group’s share of profits from Middlesea Valletta Life Assurance Co. Ltd. amounted to Lm1.1 million, an increase of 26.5% over the contribution in 2004. Net investment income amounted to Lm4.4 million during the year, a rise of 56.3% from the previous year. Group administrative expenses increased by 9.5% to Lm1.28 million.

Profit before tax generated by the Middlesea Group amounted to Lm6.5 million, a 79.2% surge compared to the restated profits earned in 2004. After accounting for taxation and minority interest, profits attributable to shareholders amounted to Lm4.8 million. Earnings per share rose by 69.8% to 38c5.

Group total assets increased by 6.0% to Lm108 million with shareholders’ funds (including minority interests) of Lm31.9 million translating into a net asset value per share of Lm2.56.

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