Guardian Group conserves cash; holds final 2020 dividend

TT polymer bank notes. File photo -
TT polymer bank notes. File photo -

Despite its successes in 2020, Guardian Group chairman Patrick Hylton warned stakeholders about potential threats and advised that the group holds on to its cash.

“Notwithstanding the excellent results for 2020 your directors are continually looking forward at potential opportunities and threats.

“During 2020 central banks placed restrictions on the flow of dividends out of country.

“This affect our inward dividend flow from our major operating entities outside of TT,” Hylton said in his report on the group’s 2020 financials, which were published Friday in the press.

“It is against this backdrop we think it prudent to conserve the cash resources of the group and not declare a final dividend form 2020.” The last year was, for the Guardian Group, defined by structural shifts in operation procedures to adapt to covid19.

But, the group said, 2020 was “another excellent one,” even as it reminded shareholders that results need to be considered in the context of the global pandemic.

The group recorded a $774 million profit, or 12 per cent over the previous year’s $692 million.

The group saw a nearly 50 per cent increase year on year in insurance underwriting, its biggest business.

Underwriting activities increased to $1.41 billion, a 47 per cent increase over the $959 million reported in 2019.

The group’s result in 2020 was not adversely affected by catastrophes as was experienced in 2019, it said.

Gross written premiums increased from $6.36 billion to $6.56 billion or three per cent.

Net income from investing activities decreased from $1.37 billion to $989 million, or 28 per cent.

All operating jurisdictions experienced significant valuation movements on investment securities, the group said.

Total assets increased from $30.07 billion to $33 million or 10 per cent.

At the start of the fourth quarter 2020, the group, through its Jamaican subsidiary, Guardian Life Ltd, acquired the insurance and annuities portfolio of NCB Insurance Company Ltd (NCBIC). Integration activities are in progress, “which will allow the group to harvest the synergistic benefits,” the group said.

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