RSA group CEO Stephen Hester has called Zurich’s “unsolicited approach” to RSA a distraction during the third quarter of 2015 in which RSA reported a 1% increase in core group underlying net written premiums.
Hester, pictured, said in the Q3 results statement: “Zurich’s unsolicited approach to RSA was a distraction in Q3. It is pleasing that our business continued to perform well despite that. A tribute to our people and franchise.”
Group net written premiums for Q3 were £4.4bn. In the UK, net written premiums rose 2%, while Ireland saw a 5% decrease in NWP.
At the end of the third quarter, weather event costs for the year-to-date were £92m which represents 1.7% of net earned premiums (Q3 2014: 3.8%).
Large losses for the total group were £409m for the year-to-date representing 7.7% of net earned premiums which RSA said was “slightly worse” than planned. During the quarter, the insurer was impacted by an estimated net loss of £16m from the September Chile earthquake.
RSA said its year-to-date attributable profits were ahead of its plans. Third quarter profit included £21m of disposal gains from the sale of the Indian business which brought total disposal gains for the year-to-date to £153m.
Commenting on the results, Hester added: “We are very pleased with progress to date in RSA’s turnaround. If we can keep the improvements coming, the future is bright for RSA as a high quality, high performing leader in its markets.”
“Our plans are based on three pillars of work, each going well. The strategic refocus is nearing completion with the sale of our Latin America businesses announced in September, the last major element. Our balance sheet and capital work is also approaching satisfactory outcomes. And our complete operational overhaul of the business is showing good results and gathering still further momentum,” he said.
“Insurance markets remain challenging and financial markets volatile. Within those constraints, RSA is making strong progress on the path to high quality and sustained business out performance.”