Hamilton, Bermuda (June 28, 2021) – Argus Group Holdings Limited (the “Group”; “the Company”; the “Argus Group”) today announced shareholders’ equity of $149.7 million at March 31, 2021, compared with $122.1 million at March 31, 2020, and total comprehensive income, consisting of net earnings and net unrealised gains from investments, of $30.7 million compared to $3.6 million in the prior year.
End-of-year net earnings were $10.1 million compared with $14.2 million in the prior year. The decrease was primarily attributable to market-driven volatility in the annuity business, which is reported in the income statement under current accounting rules. This volatility is offset by the significant increase in other comprehensive income during the year which largely reflects rapid improvement in capital markets during the second half of 2020.
Book value per share stood at $6.94 as of March 31, 2021 compared with $5.73 as of March 31, 2020. The share price at year end was $4.56 compared with $2.18 at March 31, 2020.
In addition to releasing year-end results, Argus announced that, effective July 1, 2021, the Company will initiate the repurchase, at its discretion, of up to 415,000 shares over the next year at market prices on the Bermuda Stock Exchange.
Argus also reported a combined ratio for the property and casualty as well as health insurance business written by Argus Group of 70.4% compared with 80.8% for 2020. Combined fee income was $39.7 million, an increase of $14.5 million that was driven by the acquisition of two medical practices in Bermuda in June 2020 and a brokerage business in Malta in September 2019.
Reduced claims activity, reflecting pandemic-related changes in travel and health care patterns, resulted in a decrease in payments from $95 million to $80 million. Because of this unique dynamic in claims, Argus offered a premium rebate to all qualifying health clients.
Based on the Group’s financial strength and strong performance, Argus has declared a dividend of ten cents per share for shareholders of record as of July 28, 2021, payable on August 27, 2021.
“In a remarkably difficult year, these strong results underscore the power of our growth strategy as well as the ability of our Argus teams to rise to any challenge,” said Group CEO Alison Hill. “Throughout the economic, social and environmental upheaval that defined the last 12 months, we were undeterred from our goal of building a profitable, sustainable global company hallmarked by an inclusive, engaging culture.
“We implemented a new organisational structure that further empowers our regional businesses; leveraged the acquisition of Bermuda’s two largest medical practices to build an integrated health care model; laid the groundwork for product and geographic diversification from our European base in Gibraltar; and continued the ongoing digitisation of many of our products and services.
“We welcomed our new Board Chair, David Brown, who follows in the inimitable footsteps of Sheila Nicoll, and enhanced the already impressive skill set of our Board of Directors with the appointments of Costas Miranthis and Garrett Curran.
“Throughout, we stayed true to our ‘everyone wins’ philosophy, making sure our employees as well as our customers had the support they needed to navigate unprecedented personal and professional demands.
“While our overall results are commendable, the robust improvement in our share price is notable. It is heartening to see the market recognising Argus’ value.
“I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished this year and extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to our shareholders, customers and employees for their continued belief in Argus’ potential”.