RSA Group reveals boost to profits despite drop in net written premiums and being hit by Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank

Hayley Kirton
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Storm Frank Causes More Flooding In The North of England And Scotland
This morning's results looked anything other than stormy for RSA (Source: Getty)

RSA Group has this morning announced a rise in profits for its year ended December 2015, despite a fall in net written premiums.

The insurer revealed profits before tax of £323m, up from £275m in 2014, while operating profits were also strong at £523m, up 43 per cent compared with £365m in 2014.

However, group net written premiums dropped to £6.8bn for the year ended 2015, down from £7.5bn the year before, with the company pinning the slight slump on a disposal programme.

The company also reported current year underwriting profits of £129m, which is the highest recorded by the insurance company on a like-for-like basis since 2005, despite being affected by flooding from the winter storms.

Calling 2015 a "major achievement" for company, RSA Group chief executive Stephen Hester, who has made substantial efforts to revamp the insurer since he was appointed in 2014, remarked: "The turnaround phase of our Action Plan is largely complete and we have good prospects of substantial further performance improvement."

Speaking on a results call later, Hester also said that 2016 had "started well despite market turmoil".

Last year, rival insurance company Zurich put in a takeover bid for the company before dropping the deal, in what Hester described this morning as "an unsolicited dance".

Hester also said that RSA had not had any approaches since then and pointed out that this morning's results showed that the company was "strong, and better, and inherently more valuable" than it was six months ago.

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