Bharti AXA General Insurance on Tuesday said the company registered an increase of 29 per cent in its Gross Written Premium (GWP) to Rs 2,285 crore in the financial year 2018-19 from Rs 1,772 crore in 2017-18.
Driven by growth across all product segments and channels of distribution, it achieved healthy top-line performance against an overall industry growth of 12.9 per cent and private sector growth of 25 per cent in the financial year that ended on March 31, 2019.
Strong premium growth at more than double of industry growth helped the company post a net profit of Rs 3 crore in the financial year ending on March 31, 2019, against a loss of Rs 92.6 crore during 2017-18. With this business milestone, Bharti AXA General recorded its maiden full-year profitability in the financial year 2018-19.
"We are happy to notch up the first-ever full-year profitability and grow faster than the industry in the financial year 2018-19. This has been achieved by expanding the distribution network, adding number of strategic distribution partnerships and business alliances and diversification of product lines. We will continue to focus on channel and segment diversification, productivity and prudent expense management to drive growth in years to come," said Sanjeev Srinivasan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Bharti AXA General Insurance.
Apart from delivering consistently across key matrices of the business and growing ahead of the industry growth rate, he said, the top line performance has been strong on the back of enhanced claims and expense ratio, improving the overall combined ratio.
The combined ratio, a measure of profitability that takes into account claims and expenses as a proportion of premiums, improved to 115.3 per cent in the financial year 2018-19 from 126.9 per cent during 2017-18 on the back of improvement in loss ratio and expense ratio.
Loss ratio reduced to 77 per cent in 2018-19 from 83 per cent in 2017-18, while expense ratio witnessed a significant dip at 38.3 per cent in the financial year ended March 31, 2019 against 43.8 per cent in the corresponding period of 2017-18.
Bharti AXA General Insurance, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and French insurance major AXA, witnessed an overall growth across all product lines and all channels and healthy growth in segments like health insurance, personal accident, travel, commercial lines and crop.
Health, personal accident and travel category of products recorded a 125 per cent growth at Rs 334 crore in FY19 against Rs 149 crore in FY18. Commercial lines saw a growth of 70 per cent at Rs 288 crore in FY19 against Rs 170 crore in FY18. Motor insurance, which accounts for over 50 per cent of the business, grew by 6 per cent to Rs 1,143 crore in FY19 from Rs 1,075 crore in FY19.
Each of the channels of distribution recorded significant growth, with the corporate channel recording a growth of 57 per cent from to Rs 294 crore in FY19 from Rs 186 crore in FY18.
The company also achieved 22 per cent growth in retail business to Rs 1,392 crore in FY19 from Rs 1,138 crore in FY18, while the bancassurance channel of retail grew over 150 per cent in this period. Crop and government business recorded 37 per cent growth to Rs 520 crore in FY19 from Rs 379 crore in FY18.
The company, which has corporate agency partnership with six leading banks, has also forged partnerships with several motor insurance service providers, brokers, 16 NBFCs and 36 co-operative banks to strengthen its retail distribution and chase growth aspirations.
Srinivasan said: "Our continued focus on increasing distribution network and business alliances has been a key driver for the company's overall growth in both retail and corporate business. We continue to build on a steady path ahead of industry growth with superior risk selection and cost management to boost top line and bottom-line growth in the years ahead."