Significant improvements in performance 

  • Profit before tax and minority interests up 81% to GBP 64.1 million  (HY 2011: GBP 35.4 million)
  • Overall combined ratio at 98.8% (HY 2011 101.2%)
  • Motor combined ratio shows continued improvement to 96.4% (HY 2011: 99.3%)

Continued growth in inflows

  • Total income up 5.6% to GBP 1,042.9 million compared to HY 2011
  • Non-Life Gross Written Premiums up 5.0% to GBP 906.3 million
  • Total inflows from Retail businesses in line with last year at GBP 105.0 million 
  • Protection GWP up 64.8% to GBP 31.6 million and New Annual Premiums up by 21.2% to GBP 17.1 million

Well capitalised business 

  • Strong capital positions maintained in Ageas Insurance Limited, Ageas Protect and Tesco Underwriting

Progress in development of multi-distribution and product strategy

  • Continued organic growth within Ageas Insurance Limited and Tesco Underwriting
  • Ageas Retail remains UK’s 9th largest broker and 4th largest Personal lines broker
  • Protection distribution expanded; 47.4% growth in customer numbers

Announcing the HY 2012 results, Barry Smith, Chief Executive of Ageas UK commented:

 “We continue to deliver on our consistent multi-distribution and product strategy and I’m particularly pleased with our strong profit and combined ratio performance in the first six months of 2012.  This builds on the significant scale change of the Ageas business over the last year.  Our ethos is to deliver results by working in partnership with our brokers, advisers and clients and to provide them with customer service well above market norms.  This focus will continue.”

Business Results

Ageas UK

Ageas UK continues to deliver a strong performance, reflecting a clear and consistent multi-distribution strategy and partnership approach with brokers, affinities, Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs), intermediaries and through our own Retail businesses.  The combination of high quality service and low cost delivery remains a key area of focus for all the Ageas UK businesses.

Both income and profit have increased compared to the same period in 2011.  There has been good organic growth in Ageas Insurance Limited, Tesco Underwriting and Ageas Protect, driven by increased business with brokers, IFAs and affinity partnerships. Ageas Retail has also performed in line with last year despite the difficult economic climate. Building on the scale change of the last 18 months, Ageas has delivered a very strong profit return in spite of the poor weather in the first half of the year and tough trading conditions.

Total income reached GBP 1,042.9 million, a rise of 5.6% compared to the same period last year and overall profit, pre-tax and minorities, increased by 81% to GBP 64.1 million (GBP 35.4 million HY 2011).

Ageas’s award-winning track record continued during the period picking up a number of accolades including the prestigious Business Transformation Deal Award, in partnership with Tesco Underwriting, at the recent British Insurance Awards.  

Non-Life: 

Ageas Insurance Limited

Ageas Insurance’s focus has continued to be on expanding profitable business, particularly in Private Car and Commercial Vehicle and taking pre-emptive actions to protect its result in other areas such as Household.  This has led to both overall growth in income and a significant increase in profitability.   

Total Gross Written Premiums (GWP) during the first half of 2012 increased by 6.8% over the same period in 2011 to GBP 589.0 million (HY 2011 GBP 551.6 million). 

There was good growth in Motor (Private Car and Commercial Vehicle) where income was up 19.1% to GBP 340.8 million (HY 2011 GBP 286.2 million). Household income decreased slightly to GBP 141.6 million (HY 2011 GBP 156.6 million) due to deliberate pricing action taken which has improved profit performance.  The Travel account was down to GBP 24.8 million, (HY 2011 GBP 30.4 million), with Commercial GWP increasing by 4.4% to GBP 81.8 million (HY 2011: GBP 78.4 million). 

In terms of Motor, Ageas has continued its consistent approach of pricing to reflect the underlying risk. These actions have led to positive results on Ageas Insurance’s Motor combined ratio which has reduced to 94.1% (HY 2011 96.9%).  By way of comparison, recent research from Deloitte has shown that the industry average Motor combined ratio at the end of 2011 was 106.1%.

The positive outcome of the actions we have taken in both Motor and Household is that profit before tax for Ageas Insurance Limited increased by 63.7% to GBP 38.9 million (HY 2011: GBP 23.7 million).

Tesco Underwriting: 

Tesco Underwriting, the Motor and Household insurance partnership with Tesco Bank, of which 50.1 per cent is owned by Ageas, generated GWP of GBP 317.3 million during HY 2012 (GBP 311.2 million HY 2011) and a profit before tax of GBP 17.2 million (HY 2011: a loss of GBP 0.3 million).

Life Protection:

Ageas Protect continued to make good progress, with total GWP inflow increasing by 64.8% to GBP 31.6 million (HY 2011: GBP 19.2 million) and New Annual Premiums reaching GBP 17.1 million (HY 2011: GBP 14.1 million).

This continued growth reflects the successful roll out of the company’s Protection proposition to an increasing number of IFAs, financial intermediaries and new affinity partnerships.  The business now has over 225,000 customers, an increase of 47.4% over the same period last year and has an 8.2% share of the IFA market. Growth in the Protection business has been heavily driven by its award-winning approach to underwriting and technology, high levels of service and product innovation. 

In line with its continued development since launch in July 2008, the business delivered a satisfactory and improving result, more than halving its pre-tax loss to GBP 0.4 million compared to the same period last year (HY 2011: pre-tax loss GBP 1.1 million).

Other Insurance Activities:

Ageas UK’s Other Insurance activities, which principally comprise the Retail companies, delivered income in line with last year despite a tough and highly competitive environment.  Ageas Retail consists of RIAS, Kwik Fit Financial Services (KFFS), Ageas Insurance Solutions (AIS) and Castle Cover, all of which strengthen Ageas’s overall distribution and manufacturing mix. Total inflows were GBP 105.0 million (HY 2011: 106.0 million) and profit before tax for the Retail businesses was GBP 16.5 million (HY 2011: 18.0 million), a resilient performance in tough trading conditions.  Total profit before tax for the Other Insurance activities was GBP 8.4 million (HY 2011: GBP 13.1 million).