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BF&M’s half-year profit rises to $11.4m

Strong earnings: John Wight, president and CEO of BF&M Ltd (File photograph)

BF&M Ltd has reported shareholders’ net income of $11.4 million for the first half of the year, an increase of $4.7 million year-on-year.

John Wight, group chairman and chief executive officer, said: “For the first half of 2019, BF&M reported strong earnings by both our property and casualty operations and our life and health business. Strong investment results also contributed to our performance for the six-month period.”

Equity attributable to shareholders at June 30 was $284.7 million. General fund assets totalled $1.3 billion of which $143.4 million was held in cash and cash equivalents.

Gross premiums written for the period were $198.8 million, driven by growth in home insurance business in the Caribbean and higher group health and annuity premium.

With increased premiums written, the company also benefited from increased commissions on business ceded to the reinsurance market. Commission and other income increased from the prior year by 11 per cent to $25.6 million.

Investment income for the period reflected a strong first half with a $26 million increase in the fair value of investments in the period.

Short term claims and adjustment expenses decreased 6 per cent, year-on-year, to $12.3 million from favourable loss experience in 2019.

Life and health policy benefits increased by 111 per cent to $80.8 million. Life and health policy benefits includes changes in life reserves, which increased in 2019 compared to the same period last year due to differences in market interest rates.

Operating expenses increased 5 per cent to $32.5 million for the period.

Mr Wight said: “At this time, our thoughts are with all those affected by the devastation from Hurricane Dorian. We stand ready to do our part in beginning the process of rebuilding, not just through our donation in support of the work of the Red Cross, but by promptly assessing and processing claims as these start to come in.”

The company said it is too early to provide an estimate of the loss the BF&M group has suffered from Hurricane Dorian, however it expects that the loss will be contained within its reinsurance programme.

BF&M offers property and casualty products as well as health, life, annuities, pension products, investment advisory and financial planning services.