INSURANCE group Brit reported a 9.8 per cent rise in written premiums for 2014, up to £1.3bn from £1.2bn.
The company, which is being bought by Canadian magnate Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings for £1.22bn, also saw combined ratio worsen from 85.4 per cent to 89.5 per cent, which chief executive Mark Cloutier attributed largely to lower reserve releases in 2014.
He commented: “We had a great underwriting result which is a core focus of the group, and we have maintained discipline around operating expenses. This isn’t a result that’s happened by accident.”
No date has been set for completion of the Fairfax deal, and Cloutier said Brit could still be on the public market at the half-year point. However, he stated that “things won’t change” after the deal goes through.
“Fairfax have been very clear that they intend to have the business operate autonomously,” he commented. “It’s business as usual.”
Cloutier added the company delivered a good set of results as well as a “very good deal for investors” in recent weeks. “We feel we’ve done a good job for shareholders this year,” he stated.
Shares fell 0.75 per cent yesterday.
Brit was a major sponsor of English cricket until 2012, when the deal ended, to be replaced by Waitrose.