ICICI Lombard General Insurance on Friday reported a 35 per cent growth in September quarter net profit at Rs 415.74 crore, despite the losses due to natural calamities and mounting claims from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Total income rose to Rs 2,883.40 crore during the quarter from Rs 2,739.67 crore a year ago, the company said.
Net premium earned during the quarter grew to Rs 2,462.52 crore from Rs 2,356.92 crore, while gross direct premium income rose 8 per cent to Rs 3,189 crore, the company said.
Addressing the media during a conference call, ICICI Lombard MD and CEO Bhargav Dasgupta said profitability rose due to better underwriting and prudential cost management.
“We had losses to the tune of Rs 77 crore in the first half of the year due to massive floods in many parts of the county as well as the cyclone. In the same period last fiscal, our loss from the same head was only Rs 61 crore. Losses on account of these calamities in Q2 stood at Rs 46 crore marginally up from Rs 45 crore a year ago,” he told PTI.
“Similarly, we settled Rs 115 crore towards COVID-19 claims, 50 per cent of which came in September alone,” Dasgupta said.
Combined ratio stood at 99.7 during the quarter under review as compared with 102.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter last fiscal.
Excluding the impact of flood and cyclone losses of Rs 46 crore, the combined ratio was at 97.9 in the quarter as against 100.7 a year ago.
The insurer received 17,000 claims of which it has settled 14,000, Dasgupta said.
Of the total claims settled, 1,000 were from COVID-19 patients who had home-care.
On the pandemic, he said almost half of the total claims were reported in September alone.
“The September numbers, which were 50 per cent of the total claims, are a real cause for concern. But fortunately, it has been going down since the beginning of October. We hope there is no second wave of the pandemic. But it there is one, then it is really a concern,” he said.
On the outlook for industry, he said there has been a considerable improvement on a month-on-month basis.
“Q2 has been much better than Q1 and if the initial trends are anything to go by, driven by motor and health, Q3 is set for a good ride. But a lot depends on how auto demand, which has made a robust come back in September, sustains. Overall, our premium income rose 8 per cent in the reporting quarter,” Dasgupta said.
The motor segment has been the company’s mainstay for long, with 43 per cent revenue share till March quarter.
However, its share has come down to 40 per cent now, while for the industry, revenue share of motor segment has fallen to 30 per cent from 40 per cent, he said.
“On a long term, health holds the key, but in the medium to short-term, motor looks better given the recent return of demand,” he added.
Shares of ICICI Lombard on Friday closed flat at Rs 1,254.95 on the BSE.