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Alison Hill July 2014

THE ARGUS GROUP REPORTS EARNINGS OF $10.6 MILLION

Argus Group Holdings Limited (the “Group” or the “Argus Group”) today announced a net profit of $10.6 million for the six months ended September 30, 2014, compared to a net profit of $1.6 million for the corresponding period in 2013.

 

Alison Hill, Chief Executive Officer of the Argus Group, comments: “We are proud to report these positive earnings and attribute the growth to the continued strong performance from our core business operations. Argus has positioned itself as a strategic partner that provides both immediate and long-term value to its clients, which has resulted in high client retention levels while operating in fiercely competitive markets. The leadership team continues to look for opportunities to improve product and client offerings in order to provide increasing benefits to shareholders and clients. Furthermore, we continue to optimise the Balance Sheet and capital structure in a considered and orderly fashion.

 

“The Group has expanded the Preferred Provider Network, which is an overseas network of selected medical facilities focused on quality patient care at excellent value. These preferred provider relationships have led to some containment of overseas claims.

 

“Next year will be an exciting time for Argus as we pilot a patient advocacy programme in partnership with Johns Hopkins Medicine International. A key challenge for Bermuda’s health care system continues to be the rise in chronic diseases. Preventing and managing these diseases is critical to managing future health care costs. The objective of the programme is to assist with the management and coordination of care for our clients living with chronic illness with the goal of improving health outcomes both for our clients and the community as a whole. We look forward to continuing our leadership role in health management and wellness.”

 

On the Consolidated Balance Sheet, Total Assets including Segregated Fund Assets increased to $2.1 billion. Shareholders’ equity attributable to shareholders of the company has increased to $115.2 million, substantially in excess of the statutory capital required to conduct the Group’s insurance and financial services businesses by the regulatory bodies to whom the Argus Group reports.

 

Net premiums earned in the period increased by 18 per cent, or $11.3 million, compared with the year prior.

 

Net benefits and claims increased by $9.9 million primarily due to new business in the Life & Pensions division of the Group where the reserves are increased in close proportion to the premiums received.

 

In the six months under review, the Group reported an increase of $8.2 million in Investment income and Share of earnings of associates when compared with the prior year. The decline in long-term interest rates during the period resulted in an increase in the fair value of the Group’s fixed income portfolio with Net realised and unrealized gains of $807,000 reported for the period. This is in contrast with the sudden and sharp rise in interest rates during the corresponding prior year period that resulted in reported Net realized and unrealized losses of $8.5 million. While bonds reported favourable results, the volatility in the equity portfolio resulted in Net realised and unrealized losses of $631,000. Additionally, the Group reported a provision on Investment property of $1.7 million due to the depressed local real estate market.

 

Commissions, management fees and other increased by 8 per cent, or $1.2 million, in the period primarily as a result of the increase in assets under management.

 

Operating expenses increased by $1.1 million over the prior period as the Group continues to invest in the infrastructure of its European operations and the establishment of a framework that will support our commitment to improve the local health care system.

 

The Board has declared a dividend of seven cents per share payable on February 16, 2015 for shareholders of record on January 30, 2015. This represents a final dividend based upon the audited financial statements of the Group for the year ended March 31, 2014.

-Ends-

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