RSA Q1 Premiums Rise 1% to $2.3 Billion in Competitive Markets

By | May 7, 2015

RSA Insurance Group plc, the U.K.’s second-largest non-life insurer by market value, said revenue for the first quarter edged higher as it disposed of assets.

Net written premiums for its core operations rose 1 percent on a constant currency basis to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion), RSA said Thursday. Premiums, a measure of sales, from its recovering Irish unit were down 5 percent in the period.

“Premium income returned to modest growth,” said Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester in the statement. “Lower interest rates and currency moves in our key territories continue to have adverse impacts, whilst insurance markets remain competitive.”

Hester, who could face a dispute with shareholders over pay at an annual general meeting on Friday, was hired a year ago to help overhaul the insurer after an accounting scandal in Ireland.

RSA rose 1.9 percent to 426 pence at 9:01 a.m. in London, paring losses this year to 2.1 percent. The Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index climbed 9 percent in 2015.

The sale of RSA’s Singapore and Hong Kong units raised 109 million pounds in the quarter while its India and U.K. Engineering Inspection business are flagged for disposal. The insurer raised more than 800 million pounds from sales across Europe and Asia last year.

RSA said net attributable profits were “a little ahead” of plans amid falling costs and employee headcount.

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