Hamilton, Bermuda (June 26, 2023) - Argus Group Holdings Limited (the “Group”; “the Company”; the “Argus Group”) today announced net income for the year ended 31 March 2023 of $27.7 million, compared to $25.7 million in the previous year.
Argus Chief Executive Officer, Alison Hill, stated: “Despite the macro-economic turmoil seen through this fiscal year, we are very pleased with how the Argus Group has continued to show resilience and delivered another year of strong performance.”
Other key performance metrics for the Group were robust. Operating earnings – a key measure of Group profitability – were $17.7 million for the year ended 31 March 2023, compared to $18.2 million last year.
Economic activity continued to return to more normal pre-pandemic levels during the year, with gross premiums written within our core insurance businesses increasing by $6.0 million or approximately 4.0 per cent. Benefit and claims costs across our core businesses also increased, by $8.5 million or approximately 11.0 per cent compared to the prior year. The Group’s combined ratio for the health and general insurance businesses for the year was 78.0 per cent compared with 76.7 per cent in 2022 and 70.4 per cent in 2021 (a year when claims levels were strongly impacted by Covid-19).
Combined fee income from continuing operations was $57.8 million, an increase of $1.5 million or approximately 2.7 per cent over the prior year. Fee income from our medical practices continues to grow, offset by market driven declines in pension administration fee income.
Shareholders’ equity at 31 March 2023 was $141.3 million, in line with the prior year ($143.0 million). Substantial rises in market interest rates in the year resulted in unrealised losses in the Group’s fixed-income bond portfolios which suppressed shareholders’ equity growth, offset by releases in interest rate sensitive life and annuity liabilities.
The Company’s share price on 31 March 2023 was $5.55 compared with $6.10 on 31 March 2022. Book value per share was $6.56 at 31 March 2023 compared with $6.69 at 31 March 2022.
Based on the Group’s financial strength and performance, Argus has declared a dividend of twelve cents per share for shareholders of record as of 28 July 2023, payable on 25 August 2023.
Alison Hill added: “When viewed over the longer-term, we remain pleased with our shareholders’ equity which has grown by approximately 33 per cent over the past five years. During the same period we have also deployed $3.2 million in share buy-backs and returned $20.5 million to shareholders in dividend payments.
Our team has made smart, bold decisions by investing in new capabilities and new markets and delivered a series of financially successful acquisitions and post deal integrations. We have built a culture of excellence, ambition and dynamism, attracted brilliant talent and partners and developed an authentic, trusted and loyal business and brand.
It is also critical as we grow that we never lose sight of who we are - we are a purpose driven organisation. We are on a journey to simplify, transform, and grow our business into a powerful force for sustainable wellbeing.”