Sagicor Financial Company (SFC) Limited has revealed that its revenue for the first quarter of 2020 has fallen by 33 per cent to US$343 million, attributing this early impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Caribbean.
According to Group President and Chief Executive Officer Dodridge Miller, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented disruption to the markets in which we operate. As COVID-19 was spreading globally and entering the Caribbean, Sagicor very early undertook a comprehensive response plan guided by the objectives of the safety of our people, business continuity for our customers and compassion for our communities.”
The parent company of Sagicor Inc, Sagicor Jamaica and Sagicor USA said that for the quarter ended March 31, 2020, its net insurance premiums declined by 13 per cent. In the Eastern Caribbean, the company’s subsidiary, Sagicor Inc, realised a 12 per cent loss in net premium revenues, which stood at US$94 million in Q1 2019.
Notwithstanding, SFC said its Jamaican operation saw growth in premiums across all business lines.
“We are also pleased that the underlying performance of our company, excluding the effects the pandemic had on asset prices at the end of the quarter, showed robust year-over-year growth.”— Sagicor Financial Company Group President and Chief Executive Officer Dodridge Miller
In addition, SFC said it recorded a decline in its net investment income, due to “market-to-market losses on assets and certain asset impairments”, which worsened the company’s falloff in revenue. Market-related losses were as a result of “impact to broad markets from COVID-19 and increased provisions for expected losses”, the company explained.
SFC, however, pointed out that without the impact of COVID-19, the company’s profit would be US$18 million.
“We are also pleased that the underlying performance of our company, excluding the effects the pandemic had on asset prices at the end of the quarter, showed robust year-over-year growth. Many of the asset price declines we observed in March 2020 have substantially reversed themselves already in Q2,” Dodridge noted.
Looking ahead, the CEO said he expects the financial group’s “new business generation will continue to be disrupted for the foreseeable future”. But he asserted that the company can return to growth as soon as the economies in which it operates return to normalcy.
SFC is cross-listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.