Esure shares rise on "record quarter" netting insurance tycoon founder multi-million pound payday

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Sir Peter Wood (not pictured) currently owns over 30 per cent of Esure (Source: Getty)

Esure today posted "record quarter" results driving shares up and netting the firm's founder a multi-million pound payday.

The insurer also upped its full-year guidance as analysts pointed to the success of key strategic changes.

Shares in the FTSE 250 firm rose almost four per cent in trading, meaning insurance tycoon Sir Peter Wood – who owns over 30 per cent of the company's shares – booked a near-£12m paper profit in a matter of minutes.

Esure's stock market valuation is almost 50 per cent higher compared with the start of the year.

Gross written premiums were up by over a quarter for the first nine months of the year. The performance was boosted the Reigate-based firm's best-ever quarter in the three months to September, writing £233m of premiums.

Esure's motor insurance division was the driving force behind the insurer's success. Gross written motor premiums were up almost a third to £561.5m over the year-to-date. Home insurance took the gloss off Esure's returns, falling six per cent to £64.3m.

Chief executive Stuart Vann said the "strong performance" in motor was a product of realising "the benefits of our proven underwriting expertise and footprint expansion programme which enable us to offer more and more customers access to our excellent products and services".

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"No great surprise"

Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst Nicholas Hyett said the motor growth was "no great surprise".

"However, rapidly increasing in-force policies is more unexpected and very welcome," he said.

"The struggling Home division may take some of the shine off results, but there are industry-wide headwinds in that sector, and these remain undeniably good results.

We are particularly encouraged to see Esure making progress in its underwriting performance. Historically the group has relied more on cross-selling ancillary services than making money from its insurance operations. That looks like it’s changing.

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