Grupo SURA´s Shareholders´ Equity came to COP 22.7 billion at year-end 2014, for a YoY growth of 11.9%
The Board of Directors shall submit to the shareholders at their upcoming Annual Meeting a proposed dividend payment of COP 422 per share, which is 8% higher than that previously paid out on the Company’s ordinary shares. Grupo SURA's Shareholders´ Equity came to COP 22.7 billion (USD 9.5 billion) at year-end 2014, compared to COP 20.3 billion (USD 8.5 billion) at year-end 2013. Assets at the end of 2014 reached COP 23.8 billion (USD 10.0 billion), showing a YoY increase of 13.1%. Medellin, February 26, 2015. Today, Grupo SURA's Board of Directors approved and announced the Company’s financial statements at year-end 2014, which shall be submitted for the consideration of the shareholders at their upcoming Annual Meeting that shall take place on March 26. Here it is worthwhile pointing out a 11.9% YoY growth in Shareholders´ Equity which reached COP 22.7 billion (USD 9.5 million) , as well as a 13.1% YoY increase in assets totaling COP 23.8 billion . Grupo SURA's operating revenues at year-end 2014 came to COP 827,437 million (USD 345.9 million) with profits totaling COP 671,900 million (USD 280.8 million) . In spite of the Group´s operating and overall business performance continuing on an uptrend, both operating revenues and profits showed declines of 10.5% and 14.1% respectively compared to year-end 2013 due to the following circumstances which affected the comparability of these figures from one year to the other: • The sale of a 7.5% stake that Grupo SURA held in Protección, which in 2013 represented a profit of COP 99,436 million (USD 41.6 million). • Additional dividends paid in 2013 by SURA Asset Management amounting to COP 52.717 million (USD 22.0 million). • Finally the extra dividend paid by Inversiones y Construcciones Estratégicas in the amount of COP 31.664 million (USD 13.2 million). Upon eliminating these non-recurring items, as well as the proceeds from the sale of investments in 2014, the Company's net profits and operating revenues would have increased by 6.8% and 7.2% respectively compared with the previous year. Furthermore, Grupo SURA´s debt ratio at year-end 2014 came to 3.8%, which is considered low given the Company´s capacity and financial strength. "Our purpose as the parent company of the SURA Business Group (Grupo Empresarial Sura) is to create value and confidence, especially with regard to our shareholders and investors. We are therefore pleased with our year-end results, especially since they continue to show the progress we are making in furthering our positioning in Latin America and consolidating our regional business" stated David Bojanini, CEO of Grupo SURA . Grupo SURA's Board of Directors proposed an annual dividend of COP 422 for both types of share, which represents an increase of 8% compared to the previous dividend of COP 390 paid out on its ordinary shares. This proposal must be approved by the Company’s shareholders at their upcoming Annual Meeting. Business performance As recently reported, Suramericana S.A. , the Group´s insurance and social security holding obtained consolidated subsidiary revenues totaling USD 7.0 billion (USD 2.9 million) for an increase of 14.6% , with profits reaching COP 454.019 million (USD 189.8 million) for a growth of 72.7% compared to year-end 2013. On the other hand SURA Asset Management , Grupo SURA's pension, savings and investment holding, continued to consolidate its leadership position with its subsidiaries in the top Latin American economies. The Company currently has 17 million clients in Latin America, broken down as follows: Mexico with 6.2 million, Colombia 5.1 million, Peru 2.1 million, Chile 1.9 million, El Salvador 1.4 million and Uruguay 314.000 clients. SURA Asset Management's consolidated assets came to COP 20.4 billion (USD 8.5 billion) , for a YoY growth of 3.7% with its Shareholder´s Equity reaching COP 8.9 billion (USD 3.7 billion) . Operating performance continued on a positive trend in the different countries, with consolidated earnings reaching COP 4.7 billion (USD 2 billion) for a YoY growth of 15.3% . Net profits came to COP 480,636 million (USD 200.9 million) , showing a decline of 13.8% compared to 2013, mainly due to external factors, principally the difference with the exchange rate and the impact of the recent tax reform in Chile.