Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) has reported a net profit of USD $75 million for the first quarter of 2019, representing a 15% increase from the same period in 2018, driven by improved underwriting results and resilient investment income.
In Q1 2019, QIC adopted a more restrictive and selective approach to new business generation, in line with its focus on de-risking its book and placing more emphasis on low volatility segments.
This resulted in the company’s net underwriting result increasing by 45% from $32 million in Q1 2018 to $46 million in Q1 2019, despite gross and net written premiums remaining stable at $969 million and $835 million, respectively.
The re/insurer’s international carriers, Qatar Re, Antares, QIC Europe Limited (QEL) and its Gibraltar based carriers also continued to expand in low-volatility areas and now account for approximately 76% of QIC’s total gross written premium, compared to 73% in the first quarter of 2018.
QIC’s non-life combined ratio improved slightly to 100.2% for Q1 2019, compared with 101.6% last year.
Investment income for the group remained stable at $76 million, compared to $75 million in Q1 2018. QIC’s total investment return, including capital gains and losses, amounted to an annualized 6.2%.
Additionally, QIC maintained a focus on streamlining operations over the first quarter in order to improve its operational efficiency, reporting an administrative expense ratio of 6.1% for its core operations.
“For QIC, the first quarter was a period of stability and consolidation,” said Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of QIC Group.
“As part of our de-risking effort, we have adopted a more selective approach to writing new business, rewarded by an improving technical performance,” he explained. “QIC remains firmly committed to shifting to lines of business with lower volatility where we see a more attractive risk-return potential.”
“In addition to underwriting, QIC’s investment prowess and commitment to operating efficiency continue to bear fruit and are essential to sustaining the Group’s overall profitability,” the CEO continued.
“Based on the strength and diversity of our performance engines, I remain confident in QIC’s future growth and profitability prospects, which should further benefit from what appears to be a slightly firming global re/insurance trading environment.”
QIC underwent some management changes over the first quarter of 2019, with Qatar Re CEO Gunther Saacke announcing his decision to leave the company in January.
Michael van der Straaten, Chief Underwriting Officer for Long Tail and Specialty Classes, has since been confirmed as the reinsurer’s new permanent CEO.
Additionally, in February, Antares, the Lloyd’s Managing Agency and member of the QIC Group, appointed current Active Underwriter Jonathan Battle as CEO, replacing Stephen Redmond who assumed the newly created role of Group Transformation Officer.