Blue Insurance profits jump 14pc after sale to Zurich unit
BLUE Insurance, the firm sold by Ciaran Mulligan last year to a unit of Zurich Insurance for up to €70m, saw its pre-tax profit jump 14pc to €4.7m in 2018.
Newly filed accounts for Blue Insurance show that revenue net of third-party commission payments was 14.5pc higher in the year, at almost €14.5m.
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In Ireland, the revenue figure was up 10.7pc, and in the UK it was 20.6pc higher. Gross profit was up 15pc, at €12m. The company agreed in February this year to pay an interim dividend of €6m, with a final dividend of €2.5m having also been proposed.
Blue Insurance offers products such as cover for pets, gadgets, travel and car hire excess. It also offers home and motor insurance.
Distribution is undertaken through a network of travel agents and tour operators, brokers, and online directly to consumers in Ireland and the UK, and also through aggregator sites in Britain.
Mr Mulligan, who is still managing director, co-founded the business in 2003 with Rowan Devereux. He bought out Mr Devereux in 2013. That valued Blue Insurance at €20m.
It was sold last year to Cover-More, a Sydney-based unit of Zurich. The transaction involved a €50m payment up front, with a potential earn-out of €20m.
Blue Insurance has also warned that Brexit could hit its business. "The impact of the UK's decision to leave the EU imposes a risk on our UK distribution channels and EU business involving UK providers," the group said. It added: "We are actively monitoring the developments and engaging with the Irish and UK regulators, as well as our partners and customers, to mitigate any exposure that exists, and prepare for all eventualities."
However, the company said it is rolling out new products this year, and is confident it can increase its business by growing market share and entering new markets.
"This expected increase in business will be further enhanced as a result of being part of the Zurich Insurance Group," it said.