Accounting changes hit Amlin’s first-half profit

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Amlin boss Charles Philipps said the first half results were solid
THE BOSS of insurance firm Amlin yesterday said the company is not up for sale, quashing speculation that the group would be the next to be swept up in the wave of consolidation seen in the market over the past 12 months.

Chief executive Charles Philipps made the statement while discussing the company’s results for the first six months of 2015.

The group’s pre-tax profit fell to £143.3m in the first half, down from £148.5m in the same period last year. Philipps said the dip was due to an accounting change relating to earned premiums.

Gross written premiums rose 6.2 per cent during the first half, growing from £1.89bn to £2.01bn. Its combined ratio deteriorated to 91 per cent, from 87 per cent last year.

The company increased its dividend by 3.7 per cent, to 8.4 pence per share.

Philipps said: “This is a solid set of results in the more challenging market which prevails.”

He added: “I am also pleased with the substantial progress which has been made following our reorganization last year. New opportunities exist and efficiency gains are being realised.”

Analysts at Besi Research said that Amlin’s “franchise, skill and diversity position it favourably”.

Amlin had been named as a potential target for takeover, with analysts pointing to its experience in the Lloyd’s market as an attribute that would attract buyers’ interest.

The speculation was sparked by a run of deals in the insurance market over the past year, including Ace’s union with Chubb and insurance broker Willis’s merger with Towers Watson.

In addition, Canada-based Fairfax paid $1.8bn (£1.1bn) for Brit, Catlin shelled out £2.79bn in a tie-up with XL Group, and Tokio Marine announced a $7.5bn offer for HCC Insurance in June.

Shares in Amlin fell by 4.3 per cent yesterday, to close at 478.50p.

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