CFO and Member of the Board
2020 is an exceptional time for all of us, on a health, economic, labor and social front. MAPFRE is not excluded from this situation, and it goes without saying that the impact of these circumstances is being felt in our financial statements.
And yet the Group is showing great resilience in the face of this crisis. The results for the first nine months of the year, published last Friday, showed that we continue to be able to sustain the business, with premiums falling by just three percent in the midst of an economic crisis of historic proportions.
At the same time, our profitability continues to improve, especially in the company’s main line of business, insurance, where profit has increased by 7.5 percent and with the vast majority of countries making positive contributions to the result.
The results are no coincidence, but fruit of a well-planned business strategy. This has comprised prudent investment management, a highly diversified risk portfolio with little exposure to the direct effects of a pandemic and a transformation of our core operations, mainly in Brazil and the United States, to provide them with the necessary resilience.
This resilience was recently alluded to by ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, who have maintained MAPFRE’s financial strength credit rating at A+, with a stable outlook, on the basis that MAPFRE’s capital and solvency position remain excellent.
Finally, we are maintaining our commitment to over 175,000 MAPFRE shareholders, with an interim dividend of five cents per share. This dividend is a prudent exercise, as recommended by supervisors and, at the same time, a commitment to our shareholders. This means that in 2020, the year of the pandemic, MAPFRE will pay a total of 416 million euros in cash dividends. Dividend yield is above eight percent, one of the highest in the Spanish market. We are a company that shows great commitment to our shareholders and, in the past five years alone, we have issued almost 2.2 billion euros in dividends.
The results are very satisfactory, but the current context is no cause for celebration. Unfortunately, the pandemic is going to be with us for a few quarters to come, and we are working to manage our situation in light of this reality. MAPFRE is a robust and flexible company, which adapts and is able to obtain satisfactory results even at such an adverse juncture.