Brit boss Cloutier applauds firm on good job for investors in 2014

Caitlin Morrison
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English captain Alastair Cook wearing the Brit-sponsored kit before it cut ties in 2012
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.