Gocompare owner esure Group share price down as insurance company reveals profits in underlying business dipped for year ended December 2015 as it pays out £4m for claims caused by December storms

Hayley Kirton
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Flooding Chaos As Thousands Evacuated Across Northern England
esure has had a good start to 2016, the chief executive said (Source: Getty)

Share price in esure Group fell today as the insurance company revealed a drop in its profits from its underlying business in its year ended December 2015 results, after shelling out for claims from the December storms.

Underlying profit before tax fell to £82.9m, down 22.7 per cent from £107.2m the year before, although its profit before tax, which included a £63.8m gain from the disposal of a joint venture, increased to £134m, up 29.7 per cent from £103.3m in 2014.

Meanwhile, gross written premiums for the company, which owns Gocompare.com, edged up to £550.3m in 2015, an increase of 6.3 per cent compared with £517.8m the year before.

The insurer also revealed that it had paid out £4m in claims brought about by December's exceptional weather.

Share price in the company was trading down 0.5 per cent at 262p shortly after 12pm London time.

"The management team made good progress on our strategic plans in 2015," said Peter Wood, group chairman of esure. "The group continued its disciplined approach and is in a strong position to capitalise on growth opportunities."

Looking ahead, Stuart Vann, chief executive of esure, said: "We are in a strong position to deliver on our strategic objective of growing our insurance business and to take advantage of the opportunities presented through an improving motor market. 2016 has got off to a good start and we expect to deliver gross written premium growth of 10-15 per cent and policy growth of four to six per cent, assuming stable market conditions."

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