MAPFRE Middlesea topped a successful year, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, by confirming a €3.2 million net dividend during its 40th Annual General Meeting, addressed by Chairman Martin Galea and new CEO Javier Moreno.
Mr Moreno said that MAPFRE Middlesea will continue forging ahead on the group strategic plan of “Transforming to grow and improve profitably”.
He added that client orientation, excellence in technical and operational management, and the promotion of excellence in culture and talent remain the company’s “main driving forces”.
The AGM was held remotely and streamed live on the company’s website.
Commenting on the year under review, Mr Galea remarked that MAPFRE Middlesea and MAPFRE MSV Life both performed well in spite of the pandemic, with both companies posting excellent returns.
Whilst MAPFRE Middlesea posted a profit after tax of €4.12 million (2019: €4.01 million excluding Group Dividends), MAPFRE MSV Life posted a profit of €10.33 million (2019: €11.75 million) of which half is attributable to MAPFRE Middlesea (the remaining half being owned by the Bank).
Due to these excellent returns MAPFRE Middlesea is able to issue a net dividend of €3.20 million being 77.7% of the company profit.
Mr Galea stated that “From the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, MAPFRE Malta’s immediate priority was to keep people safe, starting from the company’s employees and their families, as well as their clients, and within a few weeks, the Company had to adapt to working remotely.”
“We have done our utmost to continue to deliver an excellent service to our clients whilst ensuring that business has remained profitable,” he said, adding that MAPFRE Malta proved to be resilient in the face of this pandemic, and will continue working to retain its position as market leaders and a benchmark in sustainability, social commitment and trust.
“I must thank our employees, agents and TIIs who have worked so hard to ensure our clients are well served in these trying times and who continue to have faith in us. We must continue to improve our service to them and remain the trustworthy insurance company.”
Commenting on the outlook for 2021, Mr Galea said the company expects that with the vaccine rollout gaining traction and the pandemic spread restrained, the economy will start heading to 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.”
Mr Moreno reported that 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.
MAPFRE Middlesea plc, as a standalone company, registered a turnover of €75.12 million in gross premium written, a one per cent increase over the previous year registering a marginal increase in its market leadership share.
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 31 December 2020 under the Solvency II regime.
A final gross dividend in respect of year ended 31st December 2020 of €0.052434 per share amounting to a total dividend of €4,823,996 (2019: nil) was proposed by the directors and was accepted during the 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).
Chairman Martin Galea concluded by thanking the Board of Directors, comprising of Jose Ramon Alegre, Jose Maria del Pozo, Jose Luis Jimenez, Joseph F.X. Zahra, Taddeo Scerri, Antoinette Caruana, Paul Testaferrata Moroni Viani and the outgoing Alfred Attard for their continuous guidance and support. He also thanked Felipe Navarro for his contribution throughout his tenure.