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Search date: 08-04-2023 Return to current date: Click here

Pragati Ins declares 30pc dividend

FE REPORT | April 08, 2023 00:00:00

Pragati Insurance Ltd has declared a 30 per cent dividend (25 per cent cash and 5 per cent stock) for the year that ended on December 31, 2022 despite a challenging year.

The general insurer raked in a net profit of nearly Tk 371 million for 2022, slightly down from Tk 375 million earned in 2021.

As a result, the insurer's earnings per share (EPS) stood at Tk 5.65 in 2022 as against Tk 5.72 a year before, according to the company’s disclosure published on Thursday.

The board of directors of the company has declared 25 per cent cash and 5 per cent stock dividend for 2022. In 2021, it provided a 35 per cent cash dividend.

The final approval of the dividend will come during the annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled to be held on June 8. The record date is on May 10.

Despite 2022 being a challenging year for businesses, the company managed to secure a steady profit, said an official of the company.

The stronger dollar and largely non-existent third-party insurance for vehicles have slowed down insurance business. Otherwise, the profit would have been much higher, he said.

"As one of the oldest private non-life insurer in the country, we are hopeful to post a sustainable growth even in a challenging and competitive business environment".

Pragati Insurance's gross premium income was Tk 2.51 billion in 2021. The company also earned Tk 409 million underwriting profit in 2021. But the general insurer has yet to disclose detailed figures for 2022.

Pragati Insurance provides insurance coverage for fire, marine cargo, personal accident, overseas medical claims, motor vehicles etc.

The company has earned a good name among the insurers at home and abroad by virtue of its high underwriting standard, prompt settlement of claims and its ability to provide technical support and guidance to its clients.

Because of its selective nature of underwriting, the premium income of the company is modest, but it has generated a steady underwriting profit every year and has produced profitable results for the reinsurers since its inception.

Financial performance has been consistently positive on the back of its adherence to the insurance underwriting, which has helped earn trust of its clients, said the official.

That is why the company has been able to ensure good returns to its shareholders every year, he added.

The company's net asset value per share stood at Tk 59.01 in 2022 as against Tk 57.32 in 2021. And the net operating cash flow per share dropped to Tk 6.84 in 2022 from Tk 12.09 in 2021 due to the hike in agent commission expenses and reinsurance payment.

Non-life insurance business in Bangladesh accounts for less than 1 per cent of the country's total gross domestic products as a large part of the economy still remains untapped.

The scope for expansion is enormous and this can be achieved by coordinated efforts of the government, the IDRA and the insurance companies, industry insiders say.

Listed in 1996, Pragati Insurance's stock closed at Tk 60.70 on Thursday.

There are 46 general insurers and 34 life insurers operating in Bangladesh, 56 of them are listed on the stock market.

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