Hambro Insurance stays confident despite dip

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The Independent Online

Hambro Insurance Services, the financial group owned by Hambros Bank, moved to reassure markets that better second-half results are expected next year, as it reported a dip in profits to pounds 3.03m in the six months to the end of September.

Nicholas Page, managing director at Hambro Insurance Services, claimed a boost would come from loss adjustment work in the wake of hurricane claims and subsidence after this summer's hot weather.

His comments followed a fall in profits from pounds 3.05m in the same period last year. Turnover also dropped from pounds 43.4m in the half-year to September 1994 to pounds 41.2m this year.

Hambro Legal Protection, which offers legal expenses cover and telephone helplines to other insurers, saw its turnover rise to pounds 11.1m from pounds 10.2m in the same period last year. But profits dropped 5 per cent to pounds 2.5m.

Christopher Sporborg, chairman of Hambro Insurance, said: "The slight fall in profits is attributable to changes in the timing of scheme renewals and, therefore, of income recognition." The starting-up costs involved in taking on new busi- iness were also responsible for the profits decline, he added.

Hambro expects that increased numbers of medium-sized insurers will want to offer telephone-based helplines. Other than a minority of large companies, most will not want to carry out the job in-house, potentially boosting Hambro's bottom line.

Beale Dobie, the endowment policies market-maker also owned by Hambro Insurance, reported a marginal rise in profits from pounds 736,000 to pounds 743,000. The increase came despite a large drop in turnover, from pounds 15m to pounds 11m.

Mr Page said the fall in Beale Dobie's turnover had been caused by the fulfilment of its contract to find suitable policies for a BZW endowment fund.

The Cunningham Group, the company's loss adjustment arm, improved turnover compared with last year, despite a large fall in profits.