Hamilton, Bermuda (December 6, 2021) – Argus Group Holdings Limited (the “Argus Group” or the “Group”) today announced earnings of $8.1 million for the six months to September 30, 2021. Shareholders’ equity grew by $7.8 million over the same period to stand at $157.5 million as at September 30, 2021.
These solid six month results are due to good underlying performance across all main lines of business. On-going market-driven volatility in the annuity business continues to be a drag on reported income, although the long-term margins remain attractive. The Group also benefitted from one-time gains related to the successful disposal of the private placement life business in July 2021.
The key performance metrics for the Argus Group have remained strong. For the six-months to September 30, 2021 the Group‘s average combined ratio for the health and general insurance businesses was a healthy 78% which compares well with the 3-year average of 79%.
Claims activity across core insurance businesses have started to return to more normal levels during the first six months of the fiscal year, after the unusually low levels experienced in the first half of 2020.
Combined fee income was $22.3 million, an increase of $5.6 million or approximately 30% over the prior year. Significantly contributing to the growth in fee income were the acquisitions of medical practices in Bermuda and the continued growth of Antes, the Group’s insurance brokerage in Malta.
Book value per share stood at $7.26 as of September 30, 2021 compared with $6.94 as at March 31, 2021. The share price as at September 30, 2021 was $6.00 compared with $4.56 as at March 31, 2021.
Based on the Group’s financial strength and strong performance, Argus has declared a dividend of ten cents per share for shareholders of record as of December 31, 2021, payable on January 28, 2022.
“The first six months of our fiscal year saw the world start to emerge from COVID-19 lockdown,” said Group CEO Alison Hill. “Malta and Gibraltar saw excellent economic recovery largely driven by high vaccination rates and a bounce back of tourism and business travel. Bermuda’s economic recovery remains somewhat muted as the island experiences periodic spikes in infections while continuing to encourage first and second vaccination shots and implementing the booster programme.”
“Since the onset of the pandemic, businesses around the world have had to revise their operating models. At Argus, while we have adapted, we have remained true to our brand. We are a good corporate citizen, a well-run organization with a strong balance sheet. We believe in putting people at the heart of our decisions and we will always do the right thing.”
“It’s heartening to see the on-going recognition of Argus’ value by the markets from the improvements in our share price. Despite the economic uncertainties that we may face in the remainder of the year, I have confidence that we will be able to navigate and grow value for our shareholders.”