The UK’s RSA Insurance Group Plc swung to a profit in the first half and plans to resume shareholder payouts in the full year as CEO Stephen Hester continues to turn around the insurer.
Pretax profit was £69 million ($116 million) in the six months to June 30, London-based RSA said in a statement today. That compares with a loss of £494 million [$831.85 million] in the second half of last year and a £250 million [$421 million] profit in the year-earlier period. The insurer took a further loss from its Irish operations of £64 million [$107.77 million].
“RSA’s action plan is going well,” Hester said in the statement. “Since announcing it five months ago, we have made strong progress improving strategic focus and capital health.”
Hester took over from Simon Lee who quit in December in the wake of three profit warnings in the fourth quarter and an accounting scandal in Ireland. Since starting in February, the former CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has overseen a £775 million [$1.684 billion] rights issue and raised more than £600 million [$1.01 billion] from asset sales in Eastern Europe, Canada and China.
The company, which scrapped the dividend in February, plans to restart the payments at the 2014 full-year results.