On 12 March 2020, Mapfre Middlesea plc published its preliminary statement of annual results for the financial year ended 31 December 2019.
During 2019, post-tax profits of the non-life insurance business jumped to €21.68 million compared to €9.43 million in 2018 largely reflecting the €18.03 million in dividends (€12.17 million special dividend and €5.86 million ordinary dividend) distributed by MAPFRE MSV Life plc which is sharply higher than the €6.84 million in 2018. Moreover, the technical results of MAPFRE Middlesea plc remained strong despite the severe storm experienced in February 2019 as well as an increase in the severity of large motor claims particularly those involving foreign nationals. Meanwhile, it is also noteworthy to highlight that although gross written premiums improved by 6.7% to €74.38 million, MAPFRE Middlesea plc still registered a decline in its market share.
The company’s life insurance business, through its 50% stake in MAPFRE MSV Life plc, reported an increase of 8% in net profits to €11.75 million on the back of stronger investment returns. On a standalone basis, MAPFRE MSV Life reported a turnover of €285.73 million in 2019 compared to the €322.7 million registered in 2018 as the growing demand for longer-term regular premium savings and retirement products only partially offset the lower demand for single premium business.
Overall, the MAPFRE Middlesea Group reported a 10.5% increase in pre-tax profits to €15.51 million (2018: €14.04 million). After accounting for a tax charge of €4.57 million and minority interests of €5.87 million (relating to the 50% shareholding of MAPFRE MSV Life plc owned by Bank of Valletta plc), the Group’s net profit amounted to €9.63 million which is 12.1% higher than the €8.59 million figure reported in the 2018 financial year. The post-tax return on average equity improved to 10.63% from 9.31% in 2018.
The Statement of Financial Position shows that total assets expanded by 12.8% to €2.62 billion whilst total liabilities increased by 14.2% to €2.45 billion. Shareholders’ funds contracted by 2.4% to €89.5 million which, in turn, translates into a net asset value per share of €0.973 (31 December 2018: €0.996).
The Directors are recommending an unchanged ordinary net dividend of €0.0978 per share. In addition, the Directors are recommending the payment of a special net dividend of €0.0434 per share following the receipt of the aforementioned dividend from its 50%-owned subsidiary MAPFRE MSV Life plc.
Shareholders as at the close of trading on Monday 4 May 2020 will be eligible to receive both the ordinary dividend as well as the special dividend. The two dividends are payable on Friday 22 May 2020 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Friday 24 April 2020.