RSA says 123.ie business is 'continuing to deliver'
INSURER RSA has said its Irish 123.ie business took "swift action", including the implementation of rate increases, in the first half of the year after the level of motor claims here increased.
Releasing first-half results, RSA also said that underwriting profits at its Irish arm fell to £10m (€11.5m) in the period from £14m in the first six months of 2012. But it insisted that Ireland had "continued to deliver".
The group said the amount of premiums written in Ireland in the first half of 2013 rose 5pc to £197m from £188m on a constant currency basis, with the increase having been achieved in a contracting market. It said 123.ie had continued to deliver "good growth" of 8pc.
But profits at RSA's Irish business fell on the back on what it said was "increasing motor claims frequency" across the market here.
"We have taken swift action, including rate increases, to address this," it said.
RSA, which also owns the MoreThan insurance brand, added that claims and expenses at its Irish division hit £94.8m in the first half, compared to £92.7m in the first six months of 2012.
On a group basis, RSA said its net written premiums in the first half rose 7pc to £4.7bn on a constant currency basis. Its after-tax earnings jumped 24pc to £190m.
The company took a £48m hit related to severe recent flooding in Alberta, Canada. Calgary was inundated in June with some of the worst flooding in the province's history.
Group chief executive Simon Lee said RSA continued to deliver "strong organic growth" in emerging markets and Canada.
"Scandinavian performance remains strong and we are making good progress in the turnaround of performance in UK and Western Europe," he added.
RSA acquired 123.ie in 2010 for €65m, a decade after it was founded by Derek Richardson.