Thursday 27 June 2019

Profit before tax jumps to €18m at FBD

Group working to bring matters concerning CEO to a conclusion

FBD’s Fiona Muldoon
FBD’s Fiona Muldoon
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Insurance firm FBD has reported a profit before tax of €18m in the six months to 30 June.

This represents a considerable jump on the previous year when FBD posted a profit before tax of €12m.

Its combined operating ratio – a measure of profitability used by insurance companies – was 88.6pc, and includes Storm Emma costs of €6.6m and positive prior year reserve development of €6m, according to the group’s half year report.

Gross written premium at FBD was up 1pc year-on-year in the six month period to €192m, while the company’s loss ratio was 63.3pc.

The group said the increase in gross written premium was driven by strong customer retention combined with increased new business in consumer, commercial and farm insurance.

Commenting on the results, Fiona Muldoon, CEO of FBD, who is currently the subject of an internal inquiry, said that it was a very strong set of results, particularly in the context of Storm Emma in March.

"We are pleased with our new business levels and we continue to build our business in farm, commercial and consumer through our quality products and our direct relationships with our customers."

However Ms Muldoon warned on the cost of claims in Ireland, which she said "remains a challenge for Irish customers."

"We look forward to the Personal Injuries Commission report and we urge the Government to follow up in order to provide a lower cost, sustainable claims environment for the benefit of all insurance customers particularly Irish businesses."

In respect of the internal inquiry concerning Ms Muldoon, the group said that the process "is currently on-going."

"We are working to bring it to a conclusion and at this time we have no further update."

When asked about the nature of the investigation on Rte this morning Ms Muldoon said "there really isn't much to add other than the statement that the company released on the 29th of June."

Ms Muldoon went on to say that she believes the insurance market in Ireland is very heavily competed.

"I don't think the issue [of high costs in Ireland] is a competition issue, I think it is much more about the level of awards and the levels of payouts that are made in this jurisdiction."

FBD’s expense ratio was 2.7pc higher than last year primarily as a result of the once-off impact in 2017 of the closure of the property reinsurance surplus treaty.

Meanwhile FBD said its investment returns continue to be poor in a volatile environment, emphasising the need for continued underwriting discipline.

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