2011 Half Year Report - 30 June 2011

26-07-2011

Brit Insurance strengthens underlying performance


Financial highlights

  • Profit before tax was £6.8m (30 June 2010: £77.5m) and excluding the effect of foreign exchange on non-monetary items was £1.6m (30 June 2010: £72.8m).
  • Gross written premium 2.1% higher at constant exchange rates at £845.3m (30 June 2010: £851.5m), broadly in line with plan and reflecting the Group’s focus on disciplined underwriting, enabling it to obtain premium rate increases of 0.9% (30 June 2010: 1.1%).
  • Combined ratio excluding the effect of foreign exchange on non-monetary items of 104.8% (30 June 2010: 96.5%) including 15.5 percentage points for major claims (30 June 2010: 7.1%).
  • Investment return of 1.5% against a backdrop of challenging economic environment (30 June 2010: 1.6%).
  • Underlying attritional claims ratio improved over full year 2010 by 3.5% to 58.6%.
  • Underlying management expenses reduced by 11.8% to £75.4m.
  • Dividend of £50m paid on 28 April 2011.

Business development

  • Successful completion of the acquisition of Brit Insurance Holdings NV by Achilles Netherlands Holdings BV for £10.70 per share on 9 March 2011. Brit Insurance Holdings NV subsequently re-registered as Brit Insurance Holdings BV.
  • Strong and continuing focus on key areas that drive performance: Underwriting, claims, investments, expenses.
  • High profile hires announced to lead the Energy & Power division and the Property Treaty Team.
  • Improved operational flexibility and effectiveness through a new partnership with Infosys, a major global provider of outsourced capabilities, providing a range of back and mid office functions.

Dane Douetil, Group CEO of Brit Insurance Holdings BV commented:

“The underlying performance of Brit Insurance continues to strengthen. The continued improvement in the underlying claims ratio has been particularly encouraging at a time of difficult pricing conditions and is the result of our total focus on underwriting performance across the business. This is reflected in the company producing a profitable result despite the unprecedented number of catastrophe events in the first six months.

“Brit Insurance’s strong franchise and increasing concentration on those areas of business where it sees greatest opportunity continues to attract highly talented people to be hired across the organisation including key appointments recently announced to lead our Energy & Power business and Property Treaty portfolio.

“We have continued with our goal of creating a flexible operational infrastructure so as to allow the company to respond swiftly to changing business needs. To assist this we have partnered with Infosys who will bring long term capability and a range of back and mid office operational and IT services.

“The successful transfer to private ownership during the period has already created new opportunities for the Group on which we will build and enhance our core strengths of underwriting, claims management and asset allocation.”

Read the full statement