MAPFRE Malta has announced a profit of €14.29 million after tax in 2020.

In a press release on Wednesday, the group revealed that MAPFRE Middlesea plc, as a standalone company, registered a turnover of €75.12 million in gross premium written in 2020, a one per cent increase over the same figure for 2019.

“In a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” it says, “premium growth was severely depressed, with the market only marginally increasing in volume as economic activity slowed down”.

However, MAPFRE says that as the number of tourists visiting Malta declined over the year, and the country faced COVID restrictions, claim frequency levels were affected favourably, particularly in the motor category. Additionally, fewer large losses occurred during the year with a lower effect on results compared to the previous year, the company reveals.

Commenting on the board’s outlook for 2021, Chairman Martin Galea said: “We expect that with the vaccine rollout gaining traction and the pandemic spread restrained the economy starts heading to the much-needed growth.”

Furthermore, he said it expects “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 Group identifies that investment income was subdued as property income and lower gains mitigated the low or negative yields registered on financial instruments including an impairment of available-for-sale equities.

Dividends from its companies were limited to those received from the associate company Middlesea Assist Ltd, it reports, as in view of the effects of the pandemic on financial markets led MAPFRE MSV Life to cancel the dividend that was previously proposed. In 2019, €18.03 million had been received by way of Group dividends.

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

In 2020, it maintained a strong balance sheet, with its Shareholders’ equity amounting to €77.05 million and still maintaining a strong regulatory solvency position, it says.

A final gross dividend in respect of year ended 31 December 2020 of €0.052434 per share amounting to a total dividend of €4,823,996 is to be proposed by the directors at the forthcoming annual general meeting. 

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