Executive Summary

Profits reflect innovation investment and year-on-year impact from weather

  •   Net profit of GBP 43.0 million compared to a profit of GBP 46.9 million (9M 2015).
  •   Combined Operating Ratio of 99.7% (9M 2015: 98.4%).

 Increased Gross Written Premium (GWP) with growth across all core products

  •   GWP up 2% to GBP 1,391.9 million (9M 2015: GBP 1,367.1 million).

 Well capitalised business 

  •   Solvency strength maintained under the new Solvency II regime.
  •   Ageas Insurance rated Standard and Poor’s A / Stable outlook and Fitch A+ Stable.

 Andy Watson, Chief Executive of Ageas UK commented:

 “I’m pleased to report income growth across our core lines of business – Motor, Home and Commercial, largely driven by pricing action taken in the first quarter, as well as new home and commercial broker deals launched this year.

 “Market conditions are difficult to predict. Motor rates continue to increase and Household rates are being discounted despite long-term weather impact. But we remain prudent in our approach to pricing and continue to put in place actions to ensure we can remain competitive including investing in pricing technologies and resources. 

 “We continued to deliver a profitable result which takes into account our investment in innovation, including the launch of our digital proposition Back Me Up, and the impact of the flash floods and storms in June, and weather-related claims in the first quarter.

 “Inflationary pressure remains on third party damage and accidental damage average costs. We’re clearly seeing the benefit of our cloud-based portal in partnership with Aviva allowing us to manage these claims more cost effectively and efficiently.  But more needs to be done to tackle third party cost and we support the need for actions including limiting the time for whiplash claims to a year and further regulating Claims Management Companies and Medical Reporting Organisations.”

 Business update

 Ageas is focused on the needs of the customer, while committed to delivering profitable returns through a clear and consistent multi-distribution strategy with brokers, partners and through its direct brands.

 Performance  

Ageas has reported a UK net profit of GBP 43.0 million, down on the same period last year (9M 2015: GBP 46.9 million). This reflects the weather related claims in the first six months of the year compared with benign weather in the same period of 2015, as well as costs linked to innovation investment. The net profit also includes Ageas’s 50.1% share of the net result of Tesco Underwriting, the Motor and Home insurance partnership with Tesco Bank, which increased to GBP 7.0 million (9M 2015: GBP 5.0 million). 

 Ageas’s consolidated UK combined ratio rose to 99.7% (9M 2015: 98.4%), which includes an impact of 1.1% from the June flash floods and storms. Motor improved year-on-year to 99.3% (9M 2015: 103.0%), with some large loss claims in the third quarter offset by a lower expense ratio in the first half of the year.  The Household combined ratio was 98.7% (9M 2015: 86.5%) reflecting the weather-related claims in the first half of the year. Commercial lines and Special Risks was 102.6% versus 97.5% at 9M 2015 (Commercial lines including Commercial Motor: 98.5%). The year-on-year deterioration is reflective of prior year releases in 2015 and the performance of an MGA scheme that was put into run-off in the second quarter of 2016.

 Inflows

Gross Written Premiums (GWP) including Tesco Underwriting were up at GBP 1,391.9 million (9M 2015: GBP 1,367.1 million), reflecting growth in the core product lines of Motor, Home and Commercial.  Excluding Tesco Underwriting, Ageas’s Motor (Private Car and Commercial Motor) GWP increased to GBP 678.5 million(9M 2015: GBP 651.4 million) driven by volume growth in the first half of 2016 and higher average premiums, while Household GWP also improved to GBP 241.3 million (9M 2015: GBP 232.2 million) as a result of new schemes announced earlier in the year. 

 Despite the run-off of an MGA scheme, Commercial and Special Risks GWP increased to GBP 139.2 million(9M 2015: GBP 133.9 million) due to the broker deal with Arista, which launched with Ageas earlier this year.

 Tesco Underwriting GWP remained stable at GBP 307.9 million (9M 2015: GBP 307.5 million).

Ageas UK results summary:

*Commercial lines including Commercial Motor total combined ratio of 98.5%.