Bahamas First records positive results in first three quarters

Bahamas First records positive results in first three quarters
Bahamas First President & CEO Patrick Ward

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas First Holdings (BFH), the BISX-listed property and casualty insurer, has reported a positive performance over the first three quarters of the year, with a total comprehensive income of $6.6 million at the end of September.

The company also reported that at the end of September it had settled approximately 97 percent of the claims related to Hurricane Dorian, returning the group’s statement of financial position to a more normalized position.

BFH, in its unaudited consolidated financial results for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, noted a positive performance for the first three quarters of the year despite ongoing challenges impacting both The Bahamas and Cayman economies in which the group operates.

“Total comprehensive income attributable to owners of the group to September 30, 2020 was $6.6 million, compared to a loss of $5.0 million during the same period in 2019 incurred due to the impact of Hurricane Dorian,” the company reported.

“As expected, the seasonal fluctuations in the property and casualty business in the second half of the year have had a direct positive impact on the group’s performance for the year to date. This, combined with the absence of a catastrophe in the period and the additional benefit of a lower-than-normal level of claims, contributed to the significantly improved result compared to the prior year,” said Chairperson Alison Treco.

BFH reported that net underwriting income increased to $27.6 million for the period ended September 30, 2020, compared to $14.3 million during the same period in 2019. Gross Written Premiums remained stable with a 0.3 percent increase over the prior year.

The company’s Cayman First subsidiary performed well during the period, contributing $1.8 million towards the company’s profit for the period. The Cayman Islands’ containment of the spread of COVID-19 meant there was little impact on Cayman First’s health claims experience. Gross written Premiums in the Cayman general insurance segment rose slightly over the prior year. The loss of premiums in The Bahamas as a result of Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19 was offset by property rate increases, and the additional business generated by construction activity following Hurricane Dorian.

Investment income in The Bahamas was suppressed by an unrealized loss of $2.3 million recorded to date.

The company also reported that total operating expenses increased by 2.7 percent over the prior year, due in large part to the cost of currency conversion charges in relation to Hurricane Dorian claims.

“It is evident that the balance of 2020 will continue to see restrictions on business operations in order to combat the spread of the virus,” said Treco. “Ultimately, this will present challenges to premium collection and has already adversely impacted our equity investments. We are focused on the challenges presented and will seek to mitigate the potentially adverse effects on the group’s performance.”

Group President & CEO Patrick Ward added: “We are very pleased to post such strong results during what has been a challenging year. This reflects the financial resilience of our company, our discipline and our team’s strong execution across multiple geographies. Throughout this pandemic, our staff has remained focused on our customers and our communities and I am confident in the long-term value we will create for our stakeholders during the remainder the year and beyond.”