At the end of Grupo SURA's General Shareholders' Meeting held in Medellin, the Company confirmed the excellent results obtained from its core strategy and announced that it shall continue to focus on growth through innovation, building greater synergies and expanding and developing its markets.
As the market was informed in recent days, one of the more important achievements last year in terms of the Company's financial results was having obtained COP 781,794 million (USD 405.7 million) in net profits, for a YoY increase of 43.2 %. This was largely due to a 38.3% YoY increase in operating revenues totaling COP 924,511 million (USD 479.8 million). For its part, SURA Asset Management S.A., Grupo SURA's subsidiary in the pension, savings and investment sector ended with COP 219.2 billion (USD 113.2 billion) in Assets Under Management for a YoY growth of 13.5%
Other important highlights included the following:
- COP 437,433 million (USD 227.0 million) in earnings reported via the equity method, showing a growth of 35.9%, of which COP 213,295 million (USD 110.7 million) corresponded to Suramericana S.A. and COP 279,910 million (USD 145.3 million) to Sura Asset Management S.A.
- In non-operating expenses, interest payable account fell by 47.9 % , given the Company's lower level of indebtedness.
- Total liabilities therefore declined by 14.1% to COP 762,782 million (USD 395.9 million) at year-end 2013.
Based on this level of results, the Shareholders approved a proposal submitted by the Company's Board of Directors regarding a dividend increase of 15%, that is to say COP 390 per share over the upcoming 12-month period. Consequently, Grupo SURA shall be paying out a total of COP 255.498 million (USD 133 million) in shareholder dividends in the form of 4 quarterly installments.
For its part, SURA Asset Management S.A., Grupo SURA's subsidiary in the pension, savings and investment sector ended with COP 219.2 billion (USD 113.2) billion in Assets Under Management for a YoY growth of 13.5%. As for its consolidated financial results, this Company posted operating revenues of COP 3.1 billion (USD 1.6 billion), which were 47.3% higher than for year-end 2012. Sura Asset Management S.A. continues to lead the Latin America Pension Fund market with a total of 16.7 million clients in 6 different countries, 9,822 employees and a market share of 23.4%.
Suramericana S.A., Grupo SURA's Insurance and Social Security subsidiary, with a presence spanning 4 Latin American countries, reported COP 6.0 billion (USD 3.1 billion) in subsidiary income along with net subsidiary profits of COP 353 thousand million (USD 183 million). Its Shareholders' Equity came to COP 2.1 billion (USD 1.1 billion) at year-end 2013. This level of performance, from both the financial and business standpoints continues to show SURA's driving force within the Latin American insurance industry.
On the other hand, in 2013, the amount of international funds holding shares in Grupo SURA rose by 34% from 497 to 665. This reflects not just the Company's robust financial position but also its adherence to high international standards which are important benchmarks for these firms to base their investment decisions.
Also, Grupo SURA was included for the third year running in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices given its performance both at home and abroad. This sustainability index plays an important role on the global stock exchanges, given the growing importance amongst the worldwide investor community to receive feedback and assessments with regard to the long-term business models and practices of potential investees.
Grupo SURA also announced the progress made so far in getting ready for the changeover to the new IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) accounting system, as required by the Colombian Regulatory Agencies. Also it shall be working on implementing the Sarbanes Oxley Act, which shall allow it to deploy advanced Corporate Governance and Information Transparency practices, thereby complementing the Company's efforts in this respect.