Monday 10 August, 2020

JMMB to receive second dividend payment from Sagicor Financial

JMMB Group, the Jamaican conglomerate that last year acquired a 22.5 per cent stake in regional insurance company Sagicor Financial Corporation (SFC), is set to receive a second dividend on its shareholding as SFC closes out its financial year.

JMMB closed the deal on 33.2 million shares of SCF on December 5, 2019, for the equivalent of US$250 million.

SFC, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange indicated this week that it will pay a quarterly dividend of US$0.05625 per common share in the second quarter of 2020. The estimated dividends to be received by JMMB is US$1.86 million.

Meanwhile, Sagicor Financial also declared that the consummation of a deal being considered with Scotiabank may or may not go through, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement accompanying its financial results, “Sagicor's agreement with Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Limited to acquire Scotiabank Insurance Trinidad and Tobago and establish a 20-year distribution agreement for insurance products and solutions in Trinidad and Tobago expires June 30, 2020”.

“Given current circumstances, there can be no assurance that the transaction will be completed.”

Also commenting on the outlook for 2020, the company said its performance for the remainder of the year is uncertain given the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the year ended, total revenues for Sagicor Financial Corporation, including premiums, grew 12 per cent in the fourth quarter to US$472 million and 35 per cent for the full year to US$1.9 billion. The performance was driven by growth in life and annuity business in the Caribbean and the US

Net income from continuing operations attributed to shareholders was US$12 million in the quarter and US$44 million for the full year.

Growth in net income was driven by strong growth across all business segments, offset by US$43 million of cash and non-cash costs relating to the transaction with Alignvest Acquisition II Corporation

Net income from continuing operations attributed to shareholders, excluding non-recurring transaction costs, was US$55 million in the quarter and US$87 million for the full year.

Earnings per share from continuing operations of US $0.54 for the full year.

SCF at year-end reported return on equity of 6.8 per cent, 14 per cent excluding non-recurring transaction costs and book value of per share of US$7.81

Dodridge Miller, Group President and Chief Executive Officer said: “"We delivered strong results in the fourth quarter and full-year driven by solid growth across all business segments. [The year] 2019 was a transformative year and the listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange marked yet another milestone in the long history of Sagicor.”

The CEO said that the additional equity raised from the business combination between Sagicor and Alignvest enhanced the company’s already strong capital position.

Miller said while it is still early to assess the global impact from COVID-19, “we are well-positioned to move forward our organic and growth initiatives, adapting to varying situations just as we have done in the past with other circumstances that were beyond our control."  

The quarterly dividend will be paid on May 29, 2020, to shareholders on record at the close of business on May 5, 2020.

This is the second dividend being paid since becoming a publicly listed company on the Toronto Stock Exchange in December 2019.

SCF said it will continue to review its dividend policy going forward in light of the economic situation stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locally, subsidiary Sagicor Group Jamaica has put off dividend payments in line with central bank directives.


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