Sagicor’s president and chief executive Officer (CEO), Christopher Zacca has expressed elation at his company’s performance within the third quarter of its financial year.
Speaking at a media briefing held at Sagicor’s Barbados Avenue offices in New Kingston yesterdsay, Zacca said that the outstanding performance of the group was largely attributable to efficient core business operations and strong sales growth in all segments.
“The quarter was marked by very strong sales growth by all the segments, insurance, commercial banking and investment banking, so the core business is driving our profits, not external gains etc. That’s very gratifying because as a financial group in an environment of low interest rates you have to count on core business growth and that’s where our strength lies,” he said.
“Insurance continues to dominate the market both as group and individually, and out banking segments, commercial banking, investment banking are showing strong growth in terms of net profit. So it has been a very, very good quarter for us,” he continued in saying.
With the company raking in after-tax net profits of $10.9 billion, representing a 23 per cent increase relative to the same period last year, which had net profits of $8.9 billion, Zacca believes that the company can only get better.
The beaming president and CEO spoke of several products and undertakings launched by the company, much of which aided significantly to this quarter’s success.
“We also in the quarter launched our Select funds financial index and that initial public offering (IPO) went exceedingly well, we acquired about 16, 000 new clients who invested in that IPO, so we are pushing financial inclusion and an appreciation for investments among the wider Jamaican public, and moving away from just catering as a financial industry to the top end of the market — we’re pushing that down to include all the citizens of Jamaica,” he shared.
He commented that following on the heels of the success of the Select funds the company has decided to place another public offering— the Manufacturing and Distribution Fund with hopes of raising an additional $4 billion for the company. He also gave an update of the company’s progress on its acquisition of Advantage General, which was completed on September 30.
“We now own 60 per cent and have taken over control of the board and also have consolidated the balance sheet and will moving to consolidate the profit and loss into our numbers,” the CEO stated.
Boasting a healthy and attractive balance sheet, the company has reported total revenues of $67.5 billion and assets valued at $457.9 billion up 16 per cent from December 2018 when it stood $394 billion.
Earnings per share for the period were $2.79, with a return on equity of 18 per cent over the period. The company has also said that in showing its commitment to financial inclusion, they have embarked on initiatives such as SWYPE and its recent partnering with American Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF) to provide support to the small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
The company’s chief financial officer (CFO), Ivan Carter, also validated the CEOs position by adding that it was the execution of effective core business strategies that have led to the company’s great results reflected in its third quarter.
“We have continued to run the core business very well. From the quarterly perspective across all lines we did much better than the prior year and we are pleased at the growth that we have continued to see. We continue to innovate and bring new products and so forth to the market and essential plans as we go forward,” he stated.