Equity Hedge

Mar 27, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Janashakthi Insurance said it was on track for a public listing after recording profits of 525 million rupees in 2007, with strong results from general insurance and investment income boosting the bottom line.

The firm’s total revenue with investment income rose to 5.2 billion rupees from 4.7 billion a year earlier. Gross written premium rose 17 percent to 4.8 billion rupees.

“We believe that notwithstanding economic conditions that are prevailing, it is appropriate to get a listing by way of an IPO,” Janashakthi chairman W T Ellawala said.

He said the company had reached the position of the third largest general insurer after 13 years of operations and had grown above the industry average of 15 percent.

Motor insurance under its ‘Full Option’ brand had grown 22 percent to reach 2.76 billion in premium.

“There are concerns that intense competition is making motor insurance a commodity rather than a brand driven service but it is still profitable for insurers who know how to manage costs,” managing director Prakash Schaffter said.

In 2006 the company had made 746 million in profits with one-off gains from the sale of a stake in National Development Bank, but this year’s