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Argus posts $14.2m full-year profit

Profitable year: Argus CEO Alison Hill

Argus Group Holdings Ltd bounced back to profitability with annual net earnings of $14.2 million compared to a net loss of $18.6 million in the previous year.

The year ended March 31, 2019 closed with net equity at $120 million, an increase of $14.1 million compared to the previous year end.

Alison Hill, Argus Group’s chief executive officer, said net operating income was $18.1 million, “a significant return to strength from 2018’s year of tough decisions”.

The Argus board declared a dividend of nine cents per share for shareholders of record as of July 31, 2019 payable on August 23, 2019.

Ms Hill said: “This year has seen us act strategically and decisively to enhance the long-term economics of our business. We have controlled the cost of our healthcare business in partnership with One Team Health, and are strengthening our international presence through the acquisition of FirstUnited Insurance Brokers in Malta.”

She added that the employee benefits division performed well, while the health division working hard to reduce the cost of claims.

“Against the backdrop of hospital financing reform, we experienced a challenging health renewal, where premium rate increases were necessary for many clients in order to keep pace with global health cost inflation,” Ms Hill said.

“We work closely with our valued clients to ensure plan benefits fit their evolving needs and take our role as custodians of their health dollars very seriously.

“We also work closely with our health members to support healthy lifestyles. Supporting healthy lifestyles helps to control the cost of healthcare and promote a better life for our members.”

Argus added that client retention rates were over 90 per cent.

“Our position of financial strength, and capital in excess of regulatory requirements, has given us the robust foundation to accelerate investment in our future,” Ms Hill said.

“We continue to focus on putting our capital to best use, making responsible and judicious choices to further our strategic aims, whilst ensuring long-term sustainable shareholder value.”

The company was investing in new technologies and new ways of doing business to improve service and value to customers, she added.