QIC Group announces QAR 615m profit in 2023, up by 152% year-on-year

QIC Group announces QAR 615m profit in 2023, up by 152% year-on-year

QLNews
By QLNews

The Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), the leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, reported net profits (including minority) of QAR615m for the year 2023, compared to a net loss of QAR1,183m in 2022.

In a meeting of QIC’s Board of Directors presided over by QIC Group Chairman Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal bin Thani Jasim Al Thani on Wednesday, the Board approved the financial results.

Sheikh Hamad, commenting on QIC’s financial performance, stated: “The past 12 months have overseen a key turnaround story at QIC. The company has continued to strengthen its position in profitable domestic market business in Qatar and the MENA region, with Gross Written Premiums growing 25% year-on-year. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of our deliberate strategy over the past few years to exit loss-making and low-margin international businesses has been clear, demonstrated by the Group’s return to healthy net profitability.

“While global macroeconomic headwinds persisted, particularly in early 2023, there were promising signs in the latter half of the year that inflation is easing, and interest rates have peaked. Having decisively cut our exposure to more volatile international risks, QIC is well positioned to take advantage of this improving economic environment in 2024 – and to extend our market-leading levels of customer service and reputation for digital innovation in both domestic and international insurance markets,” said Sheikh Hamad.

QIC’s CEO Salem Khalaf Al Mannai said the company had moved forward confidently.

“QIC has moved confidently forward from a loss-making 2022 to a strong and stable 2023. The company is delighted to report Insurance Service results of QAR747m in 2023, rising from a loss of QAR465m over the same period in 2022. Strikingly, we saw major growth in the UAE and Oman operations, mainly in medical and personal line segments.

“In particular, the UAE business — which underwrote over AED 1bn over the course of 2023 — is expected to continue to exhibit robust growth. In addition, QIC’s MENA and international insurance operations have delivered buyout results, in line with the company’s strategic plan,” he said.

“Furthermore, QIC reported a strong investment income of QAR922m for FY 2023, compared to QAR828m for the same period in 2022. The return on investment came in at 5.2% compared to 4.8% last year.

“Our continued endeavor towards process efficiencies and automation showed strong results this year, as QIC further improved its already exceptional operational efficiency. Additionally, we continue to press ahead at the forefront of digital innovation in the region’s insurance sector. In 2023, QIC received industry-wide recognition for its digital insurance products, online services and website, and revolutionary Insurtech subsidiary, Anoud Tech. We’re also shaping the future of technology in the sector with our annual Insurtech summit, leading the discussion on how insurers can harness innovation and fresh thinking to respond to the needs of the modern customer,” said the top official.

For the full year of 2023, the Group reported net profits (excluding minority) of QAR601m, compared to a net loss of QAR1,199m for the previous year.

The Board of Directors also proposed a cash dividend distribution of 10% for the year ended 2023.

Financial Overview

The global macroeconomic environment showed some signs of improvement over the course of 2023 — particularly in the later months — though economic and financial uncertainties have persisted.

Global labor markets began to normalize in the first half of the year, while high levels of concern about inflation as 2023 began have eased somewhat as the year progressed. This has resulted in the stabilization of interest rates in the US and UK — and the expectation that rates will begin to come down in 2024. However, insurance markets have continued to harden in select lines of business.

Perhaps the biggest challenge that faced QIC’s key areas of operation in 2023 has been the UK motor insurance market, which was adversely affected by supply chain difficulties influenced by Brexit.

The company plans to reduce its exposure to this sector — reflecting a wider strategy of distancing itself from markets with higher volatility and levels of risk, particularly during periods of rising capital costs. Domestically, QIC continued its robust growth story in Qatar, with QIC being the market leader in the insurance industry.

Against this backdrop, QIC reported Group Gross written premiums of QAR8.5bn over FY2023, compared to QAR9.8bn in 2022. Domestic and MENA Gross written premiums grew from QAR2.8bn to QAR3.6bn, continuing to drive underwriting profitability.

As well as the company’s strong domestic performance, all international operations performed well during the year, with healthy combined ratios. Antares Global — which includes the brands Antares Re, Antares Lloyds Syndicate, and QIC Europe Ltd — continued to be the major engines for international operations, delivering a premium volume of QAR4.9bn.

Investment performance

In 2023, the wholly owned QIC subsidiary Epicure Asset Management once again demonstrated its caliber as the MENA region’s leading investment house, with its highly experienced investment team focusing on both sector balance and security of investments.

Global financial markets faced turbulence in the first half of the year, particularly amid concerns about the global banking crisis. The investment environment improved in H2 as inflation eased somewhat, and it became likely that interest rates had peaked, though the geopolitical climate remains volatile.

Furthermore, QIC reported a strong investment income of QAR922m for FY 2023, compared to QAR828m for the same period in 2022. The return on investment came in at 5.2% compared to 4.8% last year.

KEY MILESTONES
Leading the sector’s digital transformation

QIC’s reputation as a digital pioneer in the region’s insurance industry continued to grow in 2023. In personal lines insurance, customers are managing their services with unmatched speed — from onboarding to claims — amid record levels of online services penetration.

QIC’s fully digital Mandatory Visitors’ Health Insurance product is enabling thousands of international visitors to obtain insurance policies in less than two minutes. Meanwhile, its award-winning car insurance website has introduced several new features that are highly valued by customers.

The company’s pre-eminence in the digital arena was recognised in October when QIC received three prestigious accolades at Global Brands Magazine Awards 2023 —Best Insurance Website in The Middle East, Best Digital Insurance Company in Qatar, and Best Insurance Website in Qatar.

Another significant accolade came in November, when Anoud Technologies LLC (Anoud Tech), a wholly owned IT subsidiary of QIC Group, won the prestigious ‘InsurTech of the Year 2023’ award at the 10th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards.

In addition to this achievement, Anoud Technologies also won ‘Fastest Growing Integrated InsurTech Platform GCC 2023’ at the Annual International Finance Awards 2023.

With the goal of revolutionizing insurance administration across the world, Anoud Tech provides software solutions to the insurance industry that enable access to state-of-the-art risk modelling and reinsurance tools, with little to no additional IT expenditure.

Sustainability and ESG: making domestic and international commitments

In 2023, QIC became the first insurer in the Middle East to sign the United Nations Environment Programme-Finance Initiative’s ‘Principles for Sustainable Insurance’ (UNEP-FI PSI).

A global network of insurers committed to integrating sustainability, signatories of the UNEP-FI PSI adopt more comprehensive Principles than are established by the financial metrics typically used in the industry.

Domestically, QIC is committed to supporting Qatar’s endeavour to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030.

The company has taken a multi-dimensional approach to underpin its sustainability endeavours — developing a Board-approved ESG framework; setting out a long-term strategy to support Qatar’s ESG commitments with the objective of adopting ESG policies into its underwriting and asset management philosophy; and channelling group-wide efforts through an ESG Sustainability Committee to help ensure goals are reached.

Mobilising partnerships for Insurtech’s future

One of the highlights of 2023 for the region’s Insurtech industry came in May, under the auspices of the second edition of QIC’s annual InsurTech summit called “MENA Insurtech Rising.”

Centred around the question of how to create products and services that respond to the needs of the modern customer while catalysing transformations across entire systems, the summit explored a variety of pertinent topics from digital innovation to the VC investment climate.

It brought together more than 300 in-person representatives from the industry – including 88 C-level regional and international insurers, startup founders, investors, and key players – as well as 1,100 virtual attendees.

During more than 600 meetings over three days, insights were shared on the latest industry trends, innovation, investment, and digital transformation, with the goal of fostering learning and collaboration across the MENA Insurtech ecosystem.

Recognition for QIC’s strong leadership team

QIC continues to be at the forefront of the insurance market, underpinned by the expertise and guidance of its leadership, who were recognized in February with the award of ‘Best Insurance Leadership in GCC 2023’ for a second consecutive year by Capital Finance International (Cfi.co).

Backing programs that highlight Qatar’s cultural wealth

QIC has a long history of supporting activities that showcase Qatar’s rich culture and promote Qataris’ connection to their environment and heritage, and 2023 marks a continuation of this commitment.

The year began well in January with QIC sponsoring the ‘Doha Marathon by Ooredoo 2023,’ continuing to highlight Qatar’s prominent role in international sports.

In February, QIC celebrated Qatar National Sports Day with an event hosted at the Katara Cultural Village. Additionally, QIC were again Platinum Sponsors of the Katara International Arabian Horse Festival in 2023, organized by the Cultural Village Foundation in collaboration with the Qatar Equestrian Federation and Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club under the patronage of HH The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Initiatives continued into March, where QIC were official sponsors of the Samla race and Education Above All’s (EAA) ‘Goals4Good’ tournament. Both represented dimensions of the Qatari youth, with the former focused on their ability to push past physical and mental limits, and the latter on the access to quality education in unlocking potential.

QIC takes pride in nurturing the upcoming generation of business leaders, showcased by its mentored summer internship program in 2023. Designed to help qualified high school and undergraduate students explore their career paths with first-hand experience, the program culminated with an award ceremony in August.

In September, QIC were also the official insurance sponsor for S’hail 2023 - Katara International Hunting & Falcons Exhibition, the largest international exhibitions that specializes in exhibiting Falcons and is dedicated to preserve and promote the art of hunting and falconry.

November marked QIC sponsoring Qatar Travel Mart (QTM) 2023. While an opportunity to showcase innovative travel insurance products and solutions, the sponsorship also further demonstrated QIC’s commitment to further establish Qatar as a major regional hub for inbound tourism.

Brand awareness campaign

Following its recent rebranding and turnaround success, QIC launched its brand awareness campaign —Confidence at every turn! — in 2023. The campaign promotes the Company’s brand and commitment to innovate and lead by example while also looking to inspire and boost self-confidence among the community in Qatar.

THE YEAR IN REVIEW …

JANUARY

Named ‘Insurer of The Year in Qatar’ at The MENA IR Awards 2023, for the second consecutive year. Additionally, named ‘Best Motor Insurance Company in Qatar’ and ‘Best Travel Insurance Company in Qatar’ by the International Finance Awards 2023.

In addition to this, Anoud Technologies LLC won ‘Fastest Growing Integrated InsurTech Platform GCC 2023’ at the Annual International Finance Awards.

FEBRUARY

Named ‘Best Insurance Leadership in GCC’ for a second consecutive year by Capital Finance International.

MARCH

Named ‘Motor Insurer of The Year’ at the InsurTek Golden Shield Excellence Awards 2023, for the second consecutive year. Was chosen as the ‘Most Trusted Insurance Company’ and ‘Most Sustainable Insurance Company’ by World Business Outlook.

Also named ‘Best Insurance Website in Qatar,’ ‘Best Online Travel Insurance Provider in Qatar,’ and ‘Best Motor Insurance Provider in Qatar’ by World Economic Magazine Award 2023.

MAY

Honoured at the graduation ceremony of the eighth cohort of the ‘Kawader Malia’ program, for outstanding contribution to supporting the development of young Qataris, shaping the country’s future workforce, and developing Qatar’s human capital.

JULY

Named ‘Domestic General Insurer of The Year in Qatar’ at the Insurance Asia Awards 2023.

OCTOBER

Named ‘Best Insurance Website in The Middle East,’ ‘Best Digital Insurance Company in Qatar,’ and ‘Best Insurance Website in Qatar’ at Global Brands Magazine Awards 2023. Furthermore, QIC was named ‘Best Travel Insurance Company in The Middle East’ at The Global Banking & Finance Review Awards 2023.

NOVEMBER

Named ‘Best Digital Insurer in Qatar’ at the Global Business Outlook Awards 2023. Also named ‘Best General Insurance Company in Qatar’ and ‘Leading Digital Insurance Company in Qatar’ by the International Business Magazine Awards 2023.

Additionally, QIC was named ‘Most Sustainable Insurance Company Qatar 2023’ and ‘Most Trusted Insurance Company Qatar 2023’ at the World Business Outlook Awards. Anoud Technologies LLC also won the ‘InsurTech of the Year 2023’ award at the 10th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards.

DECEMBER

Named ‘Best Domestic General Insurance Company’ by the Finance Derivative Magazine Awards 2023.

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