Saudi Arabia's only locally incorporated reinsurer Saudi Re was ahead of direct insurers in the Kingdom in terms of profit growth in 1Q.
The reinsurer saw its profit surge by 365% to SAR21.4m ($5.7m) in 1Q2019 from SAR4.6m a year earlier, followed by AXA Cooperative (51% increase) and Alliance SF (9% increase). Altogether, five insurers showed a profit increase for the first three months of this year, according to data compiled by the financial news portal Argaam.
In aggregate, Saudi (re)insurance companies, including Saudi Re, posted aggregate net profit after zakat of SAR116.42m for the first quarter of 2019, compared to SAR33.49m for the corresponding quarter last year, the data show.
In 1Q219, Bupa Arabia’s profit accounted for 70% of the sector’s combined earnings. Bupa Arabia posted profit of SAR81.7m in 1Q, compared to a loss of SAR13.2m in the corresponding quarter of 2018, on a 6% year-on-year increase in gross written premiums, a 45% y-o-y increase in investments and other revenues, and a decrease in doubtful debt provisions.
In contrast, 10 insurers reported a profit decline in 1Q2019 while 12 others posted losses. Five insurers, including Bupa Arabia, saw 1Q profits this year, compared to losses for the same quarter last year.
The data excluded Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance (Wafa Insurance) which has yet to file its financial statements for the year 2018.