Sagicor is fighting on with its international diversification strategy despite suffering “a bloody nose” in Europe.
The group’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Dodridge Miller, made that clear this morning.
Over the past few years Sagicor has had huge problems with its Sagicor Europe Limited business, which it has now agreed to sell to New York-based AmTrust Financial Services Inc. for $170 million.
The most recent loss was $83.4 million in the first six months of this year, but Miller told the media this morning the company intended to continue looking for opportunities outside of the Caribbean, pointing to its United States operation as a success story.
“International expansion is not without its challenges but that was something that we knew and it just was confirmed by our experience,” he said via video conference from Trinidad.
“Once you have had a bloody nose and you think your strategy is the right one then you just get back up and continue to fight, and the Sagicor Group will continue with its programme of diversification and seeking opportunities in markets where we believe the returns and the risks are acceptable to our shareholders.”
Miller said the US market continued to be good to Sagicor, although he noted the company had slowed its expansion there as it resolved problems in Europe. It has also continued to “build out” its Panama business.
“For a number of years we have followed a fairly deliberate strategy to grow in the Caribbean, to become one of the Caribbean’s leading financial institutions and we have done that. And we used that as a launching pad to diversify outside of the Caribbean into the international arena,” he noted.
“We still believe that diversification and growth are the key, not only for us but for companies operating in the Caribbean and that is still our strategy. We believe that we have substantially resolved the issues around Sagicor at Lloyds and Sagicor Europe. The ongoing core operations of the Sagicor Group … are becoming well and have demonstrated that for the first six months.
“And I think that we are demonstrating that Sagicor can produce good results going forward, we intend to show it to our shareholders, we have done that for the first six months and that is what we would want to do from here on,” he added.
Miller said Sagicor’s core businesses were “sound and profitable”, and that having had “a solid start to 2013 from continuing operations despite the Jamaica debt exchange”, the group’s profits “are already on the rebound and are expected to return to at least pre crisis levels in the near term”.
“We are expecting to continue to deliver strong profits on the continuing operations and we look forward to the market giving us the due credit in due course for that performance,” he stated. (SC)
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