March 26, 2019

RSA hikes dividend as it grows premiums and profits

Insurer RSA reported an increase in premiums, profit and earnings for 2017, despite what boss Stephen Hester described as a tough period for the sector.

The figures

Premium income rose four per cent to £6.7bn, compared with £6.4bn in 2916.

Underwriting profit increased to £394m from £380m and overall profit after tax grew to £322m from £20m.

The combined operating ratio improved slightly to 94 per cent from 94.2 per cent.

RSA said it would pay out a final dividend of 13p per share, bringing the total for 2017 to 19.6p, up 23 per cent.

Shares in the group were up more than three per cent in early trading.

What RSA said

"In a tough period for insurance markets, we are delighted to produce another year of growing profits, dividends and return on equity for shareholders. Higher premium income also highlights the positive customer response to what we are offering," said Hester.

"RSA's overseas divisions achieved excellent results in 2017, partly offset by poor underwriting figures in our UK/ London market business as flagged earlier in the year. The group's performance ambitions remain high and we target further improvement in 2018 and thereafter."

Original Article

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