Ageas UK sees profits fall on higher claims

AGEAS UK reported a 50 per cent fall in pre-tax profit for the first nine months of the year following increased claims from the severe wintry weather at the start of the year and poor private car sales.

The insurer, formerly known as Fortis, reported profits of £16.6m for the first nine months of the year, 50 per cent lower than the previous year’s profits of £33.2m.

Ageas also blamed lower investment yields compared to last year for the lower set of results. Meanwhile start up deals with Tesco Bank, which cost it £7.7m, and Kwik Fit Insurance services, which cost Aegeas £4.3m, also impacted on profits.

Ageas owns 50.1 per cent of Tesco Underwriting, the new insurance business with Tesco Bank, which began writing business in October.

The company’s life business, Fortis Life, which only launched two years ago made a pre-tax loss of £3.3m for the year to date compared to a loss of £6.1m for the same period last year. Fortis Life is due to be rebranded in 2011 to Ageas.

Barry Smith, chief executive of Ageas UK, said: “Notwithstanding a tough 2010, our performance has improved quarter by quarter which is really encouraging.”