Ageas cuts COR, profits jump to £34.5 million

Agesas Profits Jumped by More Than Four Times in H1, 2011

Agesas Profits Jumped by More Than Four Times in H1, 2011

Ageas UK’s profit jumped by more than four times to £34.5 million for the first six months in 2011, the company said in a statement today. The company had posted a profit of £8.4 million over the same period last year.

The profit jump was driven by a surge in non-life business earnings. Profits for non-life business soared to £23.4 million during the period from £900,000 in H1, 2010. Earnings from other insurance and retailing broking division also rose by 38.1 per cent to £13.1 million, compared to £9.5 million.

Ageas Protect’s (formerly Fortis Life) written premium for the period almost doubled to £19.2 million from £9.8 million in the previous year, while new annual premiums grew from £10.6 million to £14.1 million during the period.

The broking division of Ageas includes RIAS, Castle Cover, Ageas Insurance Solutions and Kwik Fit Financial Services.

The solid growth in business reflects the growing acceptance of its protection proposition to an increasing number of IFAs, the firm said.

Compared to the 4.8 per cent IFA market share in H1, 2010, the insurer has now managed to increase its share to 7.1 per cent.

The insurer now provides cover to 150,000 customers, a growth of 63 per cent over the last twelve months, and barely in the third year of operation.

To augment its growth in the IFA market, Ageas protect recently announced two new partnerships with Asda and BGL Group.

The insurer also managed to improve its pre-tax losses in the protection business to £1.1 million from £2 million in the previous year.

Its combined ratio also improved by 5.3 percentage points and dropped to 101.02% in H1, 2011, from 106.5% in the same period last year. Excluding previous year claims and the Tesco Underwriting business, combined ratio was 98.7% (106.1% in H1, 2011).

The combined ratio in the motor insurance business also improved to 96.9%, a drop of 12.1 percentage points over H1, 2011. The company attributed the improvement to a change in pricing approach that includes full postcode rating.

“It is very encouraging indeed that the delivery and consistency of our strategy has produced record growth combined with strong profitability at the half year,” said Barry Smith, chief executive of Aegeas UK.

“We have seen growth in non-life across both personal and commercial lines and specific actions have led to a turnaround in motor performance. The successful integration of Kwik Fit Financial Services and Castle Cover, together with organic growth, has doubled the size of our retail operations and new life protection partnerships have enhanced our distribution capability, complementing our growing independent Financial Adviser channel,” he added.

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