INSURER Hastings has announced a fall in pre-tax profit for the first quarter of the year, from £17m in the first three months of 2013 to £14m in 2014.
The news comes despite an increase in customer numbers from 1.20m to 1.51m, a 25 per cent rise, and a 26 per cent increase in gross written premiums to £107.4m. Overall adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased by 16 per cent to £23.8m, Hastings reported.
“We have implemented a number of selective price increases so far this year and despite our expectation of gradually increasing prices over the course of 2014, we believe that we will continue to experience strong price competition in the market,” chief executive Gary Hoffman said.
“With our healthy loss ratio position, conservative risk selection and flexible pricing structure we believe that we remain well placed competitively to maintain policy growth over the coming months.”
Hoffman added that the group intends to expand its home insurance offering in the coming months.
The firm believes changes will lead to 160 new jobs at Hastings.