Insurance: Hastings profits increase

Hastings offers insurance for private cars, homes and motorbikes.  Photo credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Hastings offers insurance for private cars, homes and motorbikes. Photo credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
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Insurance company Hastings Group Holdings Plc reported an increase of around 19 per cent in operating profit for the first nine months of the year, driven by a rise in gross written premiums.

Hastings, which listed on the London Stock Exchange last month, said operating profit rose to £93.8m for the nine months ended September 30 from £79m a year earlier.

Gross written premiums rose 26 per cent to £454.3m.

Gary Hoffman, chief executive of Hastings, said: “Our strong results for the period demonstrate that Hastings’ refreshingly straightforward approach to insurance continues to resonate with our customers and puts us on target for another record year.”

Hastings offers insurance for private cars, homes, motorbikes and vans as well as premium financing and ancillary products.

The total number of live policies rose to 1.97 million as at September 30 from 1.65 million a year earlier.

Net revenue rose 19 per cent to £350.2m.

Hastings said its market share of private car insurance policies in the UK has risen to 5.7 per cent as at the end of September from 4.9 per cent a year earlier.

Mr Hoffman said: “Since our half year, we have achieved a number of key milestones that support the profitable, sustained growth of our business. I am delighted to announce that we now provide cover for over 2 million customers, nearly double the number we had when I joined the Group in November 2012.

He added: “Our agile, digital model continues to provide an ideal platform to replicate the ongoing success of motor for our growing home proposition.”

The company said it was well prepared for the new European capital rules for insurers that would come into effect in January 2016.

Hastings said it was confident it would perform in line with or ahead of the targets set during its initial public offering.

“It’s been a very successful 9 months and we look forward to continuing our journey of profitable growth with our investors and our 2,000 colleagues,” said Mr Hoffman.