ICICI Lombard’s 2010-11 audited financial results have been a revelation. The company, India’s largest private sector general insurance firm, had clocked profits in all divisions of its business in the last fiscal, but has now reported losses in all its segments. Is this a sign of the challenges that general insurance companies are now facing?
ICICI Lombard, which had clocked Rs143.93 crore in profit after tax for 2009-10, has declared losses of Rs80.34 crore for 2010-11 (after setting aside Rs2 crore for tax provision).
This is indeed a setback for the largest private sector general insurance company. The poor performance has happened due to the high claims incurred in all its segments. Is it a problem with insurance underwriting? ICICI Lombard's premiums are not on the lower side, when compared to new entrants in the insurance market. Does it mean that other private insurance companies may be headed towards similar problems? On the other hand, government insurers are also struggling due to high losses in the general insurance sector.
It is surprising that every segment of business that had reported profits for the company has now reported a loss. The 'fire' segment had operating profit of Rs5.12 crore in 2009-10, but has now reported Rs27.07 crore in operating losses for 2010-11. 'Marine' had operating profit of Rs5.25 crore in 2009-10, but now has Rs22.20 crore in operating losses in 2010-11. 'Miscellaneous' had operating profit of Rs4.78 crore in 2009-10, but has Rs131.36 crore in operating losses for 2010-11.
The claims incurred (net) for the 'fire' segment increased from Rs65.81 crore in 2009-10 to Rs112.21 crore in 2010-11. 'Marine' had increase in net claims incurred from Rs26.68 crore in 2009-10 to Rs47.22 crore in 2010-11, while the 'miscellaneous' category had a jump from Rs1,855.89 crore to Rs2,571.21 crore for net claims incurred in the same period.
Rohan Dukle, director, Magus Corporate Advisors, told Moneylife, "With total de-tariffing of the non-life industry post-2006, resulting in major price wars in hitherto profitable segments such as fire, engineering and so on, there is increased pressure on the bottom-lines of insurers. This factor, coupled with lower ceding commissions has resulted in tremendous pressure on insurers, forcing them to reconsider pricing. With the constant entry of new players in the non-life segment, this pressure is not expected to reduce immediately."
ICICI Lombard's retail insurance products include Car Insurance, Health Insurance, Travel Insurance, Two-Wheeler Insurance and Home Insurance. It has almost 25% market share among private insurers. Its overall market share (including government insurers) is about 10%.
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Corporation is the largest private sector general insurance company in India with a Gross Written Premium (GWP) of Rs4,251.87 crore for the year ended 31 March 2011. The company had healthy increase in GWP by 29.04% from Rs3,295.06 crore in 2009-10.
The company is a 74:26 joint venture between ICICI Bank Limited, India's second largest bank (with consolidated total assets of over $100 billion as of 31 March 2010) and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, a Canada based $30 billion diversified financial services company engaged in general insurance, reinsurance, insurance claims management and investment management.
Kotak Bank executive vice-chairman and managing director Uday Kotak said that the bank would be looking at over 30% growth in advances this fiscal, highly above the industry average, but below this year’s 39%, adding that the bank would hike its lending rate after the next week’s asset liability committee (Alco) meeting
Mumbai: Private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank on Thursday reported a 23% spike in its consolidated net profit at Rs249 crore in the quarter to March against Rs203 crore in the corresponding previous period, driven by robust performance of its NBFC arm and the insurance venture, reports PTI.
However, on a standalone basis, the net stood Rs99 crore in the quarter against Rs52 crore in the year-ago period, a growth of 46.5%, Kotak Bank executive vice-chairman and managing director Uday Kotak said yesterday.
“Our non-banking finance company (NBFC) arm, Kotak Mahindra Prime, doubled its profit this year driven by robust auto financing, while our insurance arm Kotak Life, reported Rs101 crore in profits during the year, which could offset the poor performance of the stock broking and investment banking arms,” Mr Kotak said.
Mr Kotak said that the bank would be looking at over 30% growth in advances this fiscal, highly above the industry average, but below this year’s 39%.
He said the bank would hike its lending rate after the next week’s asset liability committee (Alco) meeting and ruled out further hike in deposit rates saying it has already peaked.
The bank could maintain robust growth despite a full 70% provision coverage as it could marginally improve upon net interest margin at 5.5% during the quarter, chief financial officer Jaimin Bhat said.
For the whole year, however, the bank saw its margins depleting by a full 50 basis points to 5.6% from 6.1% in FY09-10, he added. For the full fiscal, standalone net rose 46% to Rs 818 crore, while consolidated net rose 20% to Rs 1,567 crore, Mr Bhat said.
While consolidated advances grew 39% to Rs41,242 crore, consolidated asset base rose to Rs47,900 crore, and networth to Rs10,963 crore.
The consolidated Tier I capital adequacy ratio of the bank stood at 18.1%, Mr Bhat said.
Consolidated provision stood at Rs91 crore in the March quarter, bringing its net NPA further down to 0.59% each for the reporting quarter as well as for the full fiscal, down from 1.48% each.