I am pleased to announce that Barents Re continued to deliver excellent financial results in 2020. We organically grew our business, generating a net profit of USD 28.6 million (2019: USD 17.9 million), which equates to an 7.25% net profit margin* on gross written premiums of 386,2 million ( 2019: USD 232.3 million). In a similar vein, our total assets grew to USD 1,126 million (2019: USD 1,000 million) and shareholder‘s equity rose to USD 515.8 million (2019: USD 493.3 million). The company’s success was the culmination of a well planned and executed strategy where our solid footprint, rigorous risk selection and strong customer relationships enabled us to benefit from improved market conditions in all our lines of business. We are confident that market rates, terms and conditions will remain adequate in 2021.
Our strong balance sheet continues to enable Barents Re to offer superior financial security, as evidenced by our ‘A’ rating from AM Best.
It’s no exaggeration to say that 2020 was dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still having an impact on our health, our social lives, and our economies. While the re/insurance sector will be heavily impacted by this event, we anticipate the impact on Barents Re will be limited. The short tail property and specialty policies which we typically underwrite tend to respond to first party damage.
From our well-established activity in Bonds, Energy, Financial Lines and Property, to those more recently created such as Marine Cargo and Life, we have built a diversified portfolio able to withstand the vagaries of re/insurance cycles in the world’s developed and emerging economies.
Our entrepreneurial culture, underpinned by a team of talented professionals, allows us to identify and quickly respond to opportunities. Underwriting is an essential part of our DNA. A further ingredient to our success is our ability to obtain high quality retrocession cover at competitive terms from trusted business partners, many of whom have been working with us for over a decade. These enduring relationships are testament to the high regard to which Barents Re is held in the re/insurance market.
I am very proud of the company we have built over the last two decades, with its focus on profitability and not on market share.
During the year we initiated our corporate citizenship plan, which considers environmental, social (ESG) factors. Similar action was taken on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I).
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Barents Re team for all their perseverance and hard work throughout the year, in exceptional circumstances. They did an outstanding job. We are now a more focused, collaborative and engaged organization. And to our business partners and stakeholders for their continued support. I look forward to working with you all in the year ahead.