Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited (SGJ) improved its profitability in the first six month of 2022 as three of four segments saw their profit for the period increase.
SGJ's $6.04 billion net profit attributable to shareholders for the half-year ended June 30, 2022 was 25 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2021. Earnings per share rose from $1.24 to $1.55.
Total revenue of $46.88 billion, though 2.7 less than a year ago, was the result of year-on-year increases in net premium income, net investment and fee income.
"The group's recent acquisition, Alliance Financial Services Limited, has had a successful return to full operation and is showing encouraging revenue growth in its remittance and cambio segments," the directors outlined in a report on its unaudited financial statements.
The group's Individual Life segment led profit growth, doubling the $1.7 billion it earned at the end of June 2021 to $3.53 billion in the period under review.
The Employee Benefits and Commercial Banking segments increased their net profits by 23 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.
Commenting on the performance of the Individual Insurance segment, SGJ's directors noted, "New business sales and in-force policy growth across both the Jamaica and Cayman territories resulted in a $919.38 million growth in net premium income over the prior year. The strong new business sales and increases in market interest rates resulted in favourable movements in actuarial liabilities."
The directors credited the improvement in the performance of the commercial banking subsidiary to increased customer spending with credit cards and point-of-sale transactions, which contributed to higher income and fees. Additionally, with growth in Sagicor Bank's asset base, the segment realised an increase in its net investment income.
SGJ's Investment Banking segment, however, recorded a 30 per cent decrease in its net profit for the six months relative to the same period last year. Net profit was $853.9 million as at June 30, down from $1.22 billion.
"The segment continued to be hindered by adverse market conditions, which have curtailed investment activities," the directors reported to shareholders.
Among the risks the directors highlighted were geopolitical tensions, supply chain disruptions, and elevated inflation. Additionally, the tightening of monetary policy by the local central bank and Jamaica's major trading partners, which have increased interest rates, had resulted in a decline in the market price of both fixed income and equity securities.
With the World Bank lowering global growth projections for 2022 to 1.2 per cent, SGJ has adjusted its "operating model so that it is well positioned to face these challenges" and "become more conservative in its outlook". As such, the group continues to monitor the impact of market developments on its operation while looking for opportunities.
Total assets for the half-year was $513.97 billion, which was higher than the same period in 2021 but lower than the value at year end. Cash resources and cash reserves of $34.77 billion reflected a year-on-year decline of nine per cent.