RSA posts 5pc jump in Irish premiums
Published 21/02/2013 | 04:00
Premiums written by UK insurer RSA in Ireland jumped 5pc last year to €397.7m despite a shrinking market, the company said.
RSA was boosted by what it described as an "impressive performance" from its recently acquired 123.ie unit.
Releasing preliminary full-year results for 2012 yesterday, RSA said the pace of growth in Ireland had been achieved against a backdrop where the insurance market here contracted by around 6pc last year.
"Ireland is expected to continue to grow both premiums and profit" in 2013, the insurer added.
But shares in RSA, which owns the MoreThan brand in the UK, tanked yesterday. They collapsed over 15pc after it surprised investors by cutting its dividend by a third. The company made a £684m (€783m) operating profit last year, down from £727m a year earlier.
The group said that underwriting profits in Ireland rose 14pc last year "driven by an impressive performance from 123.ie". Its underwriting result in Ireland was £25m (€28.6m), up from £24m a year earlier.
RSA acquired 123.ie in 2010 for €65m, a decade after it was founded by Derek Richardson. The most recent set of accounts for 123.ie show it made a €7m profit in the 12 months to the end of last March, as turnover rose 31pc to €29.4m.