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Annual Results

Record-breaking year for Hastings

02 March 2017 09:06

General insurance group Hastings reports another record-breaking year with gross written premiums up by 25% to £769.0m and net revenue up by 23% to £590.3m.

Adjusted operating profits rose by 21% to £152.1m before the impact of the Ogden rate change, or 5% to £132.1m (2015: £126.1m), after allowing for the £20.0m impact of the Ogden rate change.

Live customer policies rose by 15% to 2.35 million and the group's market share of UK private car insurance increased to 6.5% (2015: 5.8%).

The proposed final dividend of 6.6p per share is up from 2.2p in 2015 and together with the interim dividend, this equates to 65.6% (2015: 56.5%) of adjusted profit after tax, above the target range set by the board at IPO.

Chief executive Gary Hoffman said: "2016 was another year of profitable growth and delivering on our IPO promises.

"Our straightforward proposition continues to appeal to customers as we grew our share of the UK car insurance market to 6.5%, with live policy numbers increasing 15% to over 2.3 million.

"We have continued to invest in our future, expanding our site in Leicester, welcoming 340 new colleagues this year, and rolling out our new operating platform, Guidewire.

"These investments will provide the bedrock for the next stage of the Company's growth, supporting our ability to deliver high standards of customer contact and service.

"Built for the way customers buy insurance, our agile, data-driven pricing approach together with our continued underwriting discipline continues to deliver profitable growth.

"In 2016, we grew GWP by 25%, reduced our loss ratio to 73.7%, before the impact of the Ogden rate change, and grew adjusted operating profit by 21% to £152.1m, before the impact of the Ogden rate change.

"Our consistently profitable and highly cash generative model has enabled us to further reduce our leverage to 1.9x and ensure a robust solvency position.

"We are pleased to announce our proposed final dividend of 6.6 pence per share.

"When we floated in 2015 we set ourselves four ambitious targets and I'm pleased to say that through the hard work, expertise, dedication and support of our 2,680 colleagues, we are on track to meet or beat each of them.

"As a result, we have set ourselves updated targets through to 2019 which are equally ambitious, and which emphasise the confidence we have in the further potential of the business to continue to deliver superior returns."

At 9:06am: (LON:HSTG) Hastings Group Holdings Plc share price was +2.5p at 235.1p

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