MAPFRE Middlesea plc, as a standalone company, registered a turnover of €75.12 million in gross premium written, a one per cent increase over FY2019, registering a marginal increase in its market leadership share.

In a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, premium growth was severely depressed, with the market only marginally increasing in volume as economic activity slowed down. Technical results improved over the previous year as the near lockdown months and the lack of tourist visiting the island affected favourably the claim frequency particularly in motor. Fewer large losses occurred during the year with a lower effect on results compared to the previous year.

Investment income was subdued as property income and lower gains mitigated the low or negative yields registered in financial instruments, including an impairment of available-for-sale equities. Dividends from group companies were limited to those received from the associate company Middlesea Assist Ltd as in view of the effects of the pandemic on financial markets and its subsequent consequences on its Solvency Ratio led MAPFRE MSV Life to cancel the dividend that was previously proposed. In financial year (FY) 2019, €18.03 million had been received by way of group dividends.

The company registered a profit before tax for FY 2020, amounting to €6.39 million, compared to a profit of €23.82 million in FY 2019. Profit after tax dropped from €21.68 million in FY 2019 to €4.12 million in FY 2020.

The company maintained a strong balance sheet, with its shareholders’ equity amounting to €77.05 million still maintaining a strong regulatory solvency position as at December 31, 2020, under the Solvency II regime.

A final gross dividend in respect of year ended December 31, 2020, of €0.052434 per share amounting to a total dividend of €4,823,996 (2019: nil) is to be proposed by the directors at the forthcoming annual general meeting. This is equivalent to a net dividend of €0.034782 per share, amounting to a total net dividend of €3,200,000 (2019: nil).

Commenting on the board’s outlook for 2021, chairman Martin Galea said: “We expect that with the vaccine roll-out gaining traction and the pandemic spread restrained, the economy starts heading to the much-needed growth. We expect the demand for general business to grow at a lower rate than that experienced in recent years, while that for the protection savings and investments products in life to remain strong.”

The company will continue forging ahead on the group strategic plan of “transforming to grow and improve profitably”.

“The client orientation, the excellence in technical and operational management, and the promotion of our excellence in culture and talent remain our main driving forces,” outgoing CEO Felipe Navarro said.

The annual general meeting of the company will be held on April 30 and it will be streamed live on www.middlesea.com.

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