RSA buoyed by Canada and emerging markets in first quarter

FTSE 100-listed insurance giant RSA reported an 'encouraging' start to 2013 and said that it remains on track to hit its full-year targets after a good first quarter.

FTSE 100-listed insurance giant RSA reported an 'encouraging' start to 2013 and said that it remains on track to hit its full-year targets after a good first quarter.

Reported net written premiums increased by 7.0% in the first three months of 2013 from £2.27bn to £2.43bn, up 5.0% on a constant currency basis.

"The growth in net written premiums reflected good customer retention together with continued robust rating action," said Chief Executive Simon Lee.

The company saw strong growth in Canada (+18%) and the emerging markets (+16%) make up for more subdued growth in its largest market of the UK & Western Europe (+2.0%). Scandinavia, its second-largest region, saw premiums rise 4.0%.

The firm said it is continuing the active management of its portfolio in the UK & Western Europe and is delivering on the strategy to refocus the business, reduce exposure to less attractive segments and continue to grow in areas that will deliver shareholder value.

Meanwhile, the company's investment portfolio totalled £14.90bn in the first quarter, up 4.0% on the fourth quarter of 2012, helped by a positive foreign exchange movement.

"We entered 2013 with good momentum. It has been an encouraging start to the year for the group with reported premium growth of 7.0%. We believe there are significant opportunities to drive further value across the group," Lee said.

RSA said it is confident of delivering its target for a combined ratio (a measure of profitability used by insurers) of better than 95% - any ratio below 100% means that a company is making more money from premiums that it is paying out in claims.

The company is targeting a return of equity of 10-12% for 2013.

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

Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin
Bitcoin

Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin

While bitcoin is having a quiet year – at least in relative terms – its potential to become the default cash system for the internet is undiminished, …
16 Sep 2020
Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?
Stockmarkets

Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?

Can we expect to see another lockdown like in March, and what will that mean for your money? John Stepek explains.
18 Sep 2020
James Ferguson: How bad data is driving fear of a second wave of Covid-19
UK Economy

James Ferguson: How bad data is driving fear of a second wave of Covid-19

Merryn and John talk to MoneyWeek regular James Ferguson about the rise in infections in coronavirus and what the data is really telling us.
17 Sep 2020