INVESTORS dumped shares at insurer RSA yesterday, with prices falling by 4.71 per cent, despite the company posting a return to profit in 2014.
Pre-tax profits were jumped to £275m, from a loss of £244m in 2013, but were still a fraction of what the firm believes it can achieve in the coming years. Combined ratio also improved, from 99.4 per cent to 98.8 per cent, and the insurer resumed paying a dividend, of 2p.
Stephen Hester, group chief executive, said 2014 had been an “important year” for RSA, and added that the “clean-up of past weaknesses” was expensive. He explained that market headwinds particularly from exchange rate changes and low interest rates also dragged results.
However, Hester commented: “The company made good progress in the face of some tough realities. We can look to the coming years with much sounder strategic and financial foundations.”