Advertisement

Hiscox profits soar despite year of natural disasters

Insurance giant Hiscox reported a jump in annual pre-tax profits Monday despite being hit by claims from Hurricane Sandy which devastated the Caribbean and the US.

Insurance giant Hiscox reported a jump in annual pre-tax profits Monday despite being hit by claims from Hurricane Sandy which devastated the Caribbean and the US.

Profits before tax climbed to £217.1m for the year to December 31st 2012, compared to £17.3m in the previous year.

Hiscox, which provides insurance across a range of entities including oil refineries, fine art and vintage cars, said it would return £200m to investors via a special dividend and B-share scheme.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Robert Hiscox gave his last statement as Chairman before handing over the reins to Robert Childs.

"It is a nostalgic moment to be writing my last Chairman's report, and pleasing to be able to announce a solid profit," he said.

"The year had its catastrophic moments, but as we grow bigger and more balanced, we can absorb Mother Nature's punches and the vicissitudes of accidents and criminal acts with greater ease."

During the year the company dealt with record floods in the UK, Hurricane Sandy in the US, fine art thefts in Europe, fires across the world and the sinking of Costa Concordia.

Hiscox flew in the face of such tragedies, delivering solid results which were driven by strong underwriting performance and return on investments.

Earnings per share rose to 53.1p from 5.5p for the period, while net premiums climbed to £1.19bn from £1.14bn.

"In my last year as Chairman we have made a very good profit despite the second costliest storm on record and a challenging investment market," Hiscox added.

"As a result we are in a position to return capital to shareholders while retaining a strong capital base. The group not only has a balanced account with great prospects, but more important, has excellent people led by a talented and experienced management team. The future looks as exciting as the past has been for me."

The company reported a final dividend equivalent of 12p per share, bringing total dividend for the year to 18p, an increase of 5.9% from 2011.

RD

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Broker safety – your questions answered
Investment strategy

Broker safety – your questions answered

Cris Sholto Heaton answers more of your questions about the safety of stockbroker accounts
25 Mar 2020
How demographics affects stock valuations
Investment strategy

How demographics affects stock valuations

New research suggests that stock and bond valuations are driven by the age of the population – at least in the US.
24 Feb 2020
Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now
Stocks and shares

Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now

Mining giant Anglo American has proposed a cash takeover of Yorkshire-based minnow Sirius Minerals. Unhappy shareholders must decide whether to accept…
20 Feb 2020
Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020
Stockmarkets

Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020

Analysts have been out in force making rosy predictions for stockmarkets in 2020, but while there is certainly a case for optimism, investors should r…
17 Jan 2020

Most Popular

House price crash: UK property prices are falling – so where next?
Property

House price crash: UK property prices are falling – so where next?

With UK property prices falling for the first time in eight years, are we about to see a house price crash? John Stepek looks at what’s behind the sli…
2 Jul 2020
The end of the bond bull market and the return of inflation
Inflation

The end of the bond bull market and the return of inflation

Central bank stimulus, surging post-lockdown demand and the end of the 40-year bond bull market. It all points to inflation, says John Stepek. Here’s …
30 Jun 2020
How “support” and “resistance” can help you spot trading opportunities
Sponsored

How “support” and “resistance” can help you spot trading opportunities

Technical analysis can help traders manage risk and decide where to enter and exit a trade. One simple form of technical analysis is the concept of “s…
6 Jul 2020