RSA looks beyond Europe for growth

UK market remains challenging for RSA Group but thankfully the insurer has exposure to emerging markets, particularly those in Latin America, driving growth.

UK market remains challenging for RSA Group but thankfully the insurer has exposure to emerging markets, particularly those in Latin America, driving growth.

Net written premiums in the first nine months of 2012 edged up 1%, or 4% on a constant currency (CC) basis, to £6,213m from £6,132m in the corresponding period of 2011.

The UK & Western Europe saw net written premiums dip 1% to £2,728m, but elsewhere there was growth once the effects of foreign exchange movements are stripped out.

On a CC basis, Scandinavia's net written premiums rose to £1,403m, Canada's improved to £2,728m while Emerging Markets saw growth of 15% to £887m.

"Our expectations for the full year remain unchanged. We continue to expect to deliver good premium growth on a constant exchange rate basis, a combined operating ratio of better than 96% and investment income of around £500m in 2012," revealed Simon Lee, Group Chief Executive Officer of RSA.

The combined operating ratio if a measurement of how effectively an insurer underwrites risk; a lower figure is better.

The group's Insurance Group Directive (IGD) surplus is in a healthy state, the group claimed, at £1.2bn.

Net asset value, excluding the pension deficit, rose 1% over the reporting period to 105p per share. The deficit on the pension schemes as at September 30th was £150m, compared with £71m at the end of June. The movement primarily reflects return on assets, the reduction in the discount rate for liabilities by three-tenths of a percentage point (30 basis points) to reflect the reduction in bond yields seen over the period and a 16 basis points fall in the assumed pension inflation rate.

JH

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