Alison Hill, Chief Executive Officer of the Argus Group *File photo
Alison Hill, Chief Executive Officer of the Argus Group *File photo

Despite it being a tough year for most businesses in Bermuda, Argus Group Holdings reported a hefty increase in net earnings.

For the year ended March 31, 2013, the company reported $12.6 million in net earnings, up from the $1.7 million reported in 2012.

As a result, the board of directors declared a dividend of six cents per share, payable on September 9 for shareholders of record on July 15, 2013. 

Argus said that dividends will be considered on a semi-annual basis.

The 2013 Annual Report states it “has been a memorable and successful year for Argus in numerous ways — empowering and building relationships with the people who work here, supporting the community through financial means and volunteer hours and reporting excellent year-end results.”

The report stated: “Continued strong performance from our core business operations has produced excellent results in line with overall business targets, and after four challenging years, the Group has achieved improved, positive results. Earnings from operations have once again been generated through achieving very high client retention levels while managing operating expenses and exceeding profit targets across business lines.”

The company added “These positive earnings represent a year of continued recovery for the Argus Group and were achieved against a  backdrop of challenging economic times both locally and globally. 

Your board and management team remain confident that the Group has now placed the vast majority of legacy issues firmly in the past and look forward to a return to more ‘normal’ times.”

Shareholders’ equity now stands at $95.5 million. 

As of March 31, 2013, total assets including segregated fund assets stood at $1.9 billion and shareholders’ equity increased to $95.5 million from $83.8 million.

Investment income and share of earnings/loss of associates improved to $16.5 million, an increase of $18.6 million.

Net premiums written decreased by $2.8 million, or two per cent.