Impressive growth trajectory : Siddiqi turns around State Life’s fortunes in 5 years

By Kazim Alam, The Express Tribune

KARACHI: If State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan (SLIC) Chairman Shahid Aziz Siddiqi held his post by virtue of an election, the five-year performance of the state-owned life insurance company under his leadership since 2008 would have easily won him a re-election.

Unlike the usual practice of comparing yearly figures with those of the preceding year to put random data in context, Siddiqi compared State Life’s performance in 2012 with statistics of the last five years in a press briefing on Thursday in order to highlight the company’s growth trajectory since 2008.

Total premium income of State Life reached Rs53.9 billion in 2012, according to the SLIC chairman, which translates into an increase of 19.7% from total premium income of Rs45 billion in 2011. Notably, it has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.1% since 2008 when it was only Rs22.7 billion.

Similarly, individual life first-year premiums in 2008 were Rs4.9 billion which, after increasing at an annualised rate of 29.4%, reached Rs13.9 billion in 2012. The year-on-year increase in individual life first-year premiums during 2012 was 16%, up from Rs12 billion in 2011.

Individual life renewal premiums in 2008 were Rs13.4 billion, according to Siddiqi, which rose to Rs30.6 billion in 2012, reflecting an annual growth rate of 22.8% between 2008 and 2012. The year-on-year increase in individual life renewal premiums in 2012 was 13%, up from Rs28.2 billion in 2011.

Praising the network of 155,000 State Life agents selling different insurance products nationwide, Siddiqi said they increased the number of total policies that are in force to 4.25 million in 2012 from 2.57 million in 2008. “The number of new policyholders in 2012 alone was 752,448,” he added.

The biggest jump was witnessed in group life premium income, as it increased from Rs3.8 billion in 2008 to Rs8 billion in 2012, showing an annual rise of 20%. However, after the year-on-year increase of 69% in 2012, the company’s group life premium income rose to Rs8 billion, up from Rs4.7 billion in 2011. The number of lives covered under State Life’s group life insurance also increased from 3.8 million in 2008 to 7.8 million in 2012.

“State Life is one of the few government-owned companies that are actually profitable,” Siddiqi said while referring to that fact that the annual profits that State Life remitted to the government in 2012 were Rs750 million. State Life remitted Rs296.22 million to the government in 2008, which shows that its payouts to the government have increased at an average rate of 26.1% annually between 2008 and 2012.

State Life’s investment portfolio in 2012 consisted of Rs289.9 billion, up from Rs275.1 billion in 2011. Its investment income also increased from Rs18.7 billion in 2008 to 35.8 billion in 2012, showing an annual rise of 17.6%. The equity portion in the investment portfolio remained Rs28.8 billion in 2012, which generated an income of Rs4.7 billion for the company, company’s financial data shows.

State Life’s total income – which includes premiums as well investment income – increased to Rs89.7 billion in 2012, which was 18% higher than the total income of Rs75.7 billion in 2011. Total income of State Life was Rs41.8 billion five years ago, which translates into an annualised increase of 21% between 2008 and 2012. The average inflation during the same period remained 14.3%.

Siddiqi said State Life paid its policyholders Rs24.3 billion in 2012 in claims as opposed to Rs12.8 billion that its policyholders received in 2008. The most recent year-on-year increase in total claims paid by State Life was 25%, as it paid Rs19.49 billion in claims during 2011.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 18, 2013.

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