Sun Alliance nets record pounds 259m
Friday 08 September 1995
Sun Alliance, one of Britain's biggest general insurers, yesterday delivered a record 40 per cent leap in pre-tax profits for the first half of 1995, despite a drop in UK premium income.
The first-half increase in operating profits, up to pounds 259m from pounds 180m in the same period last year, was boosted by strong underwriting results in most of the company's divisions.
Scott Nelson, finance director, said the overall rise in premium income vindicated its long-term business diversification strategy outside the UK.
"This has been a consistent part of our planning strategy since the late 1980s," Mr Nelson said. "Premium income from overseas general insurance business is now 53 per cent of our total worldwide. UK premium income is below 50 per cent for the first time in our 300-year history."
He admitted that the absence of serious catastrophes and mild weather had been significant in the group's underwriting success, "but the increase in profits compares with last year, which was equally mild."
However, life operations were gloomier. Total life and pension income in the UK dropped about 13 per cent to pounds 322m. New annual premium business slumped 21 per cent to pounds 30m, while single premium business collapsed by 53 per cent to pounds 47m. Worldwide, total income annual life premiums dropped 11 per cent to pounds 69m, while single premiums more than halved to pounds 89m.
Premium income from Sun Alliance's UK motor division fell 9 per cent to pounds 188m. The drop came despite a 3 per cent increase in the company's new telephone-based direct insurance division.
Swinton, the broker owned by Sun Alliance, suffered in the price war with direct insurers and was forced to close more than 60 of 500 branches earlier this year. But Mr Nelson said: "We think the repositioning is going to work. The telesales unit we have set up is working well and generating business. There will always be people who want that kind of service."
Sun Alliance has recently disposed of a number of smaller, peripheral operations, but is launching Connections, which brings together the company's telephone-based personal insurance business together with a broader range of products, including savings and investments.
The interim dividend was raised to 5.9p; shares closed up 8p to 359p.
- 1 National Orgasm Day: Six reasons (plus one bogus one) why they're good for us
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
- 4 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 5 Doctor Who: Christopher Eccleston says why he left the BBC series after just one series
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies: Wrestling legend dies aged 61, according to reports
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about custom...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Main purpose: Under the directi...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City...