GWP fell 7% in 2011

Gavel ban

Abbey Protection continues to be on the lookout for acquisition targets as it reports a full year 2011 net profit of £7.6m, up 9% year-on-year.

The legal and professional fees insurer’s chief executive, Colin Davison, said the group’s business model has proven “resilient” despite the tough economic conditions.

Davidson added: “We are aware of the continued challenges facing the group in 2012, but are confident that we are well positioned to expand our range of consultancy and specialist services and have the financial strength to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the deregulation of the Legal Services Act.”

While still remaining profitable, the group’s combined operating ratio, rose slightly to 65.21% in 2011, compared to 62.56% I for the same period in 2010.   

Gross written premiums for the group fell in 2011, down 7% to £14.1m but shareholder’s equity continued its upwards swing with 15% year-on-year growth to £25.7m in 2011, up from $22.4m in 2010.

Group chairman, Tony Shearer said: “The group’s disciplined underwriting approach and leading product and service offering continues to provide shareholders with long-term, sustainable growth throughout a challenging market environment. The second interim dividend which is payable on 28 March 2012 makes a total distribution in respect of 2011 of 4.4p a share, representing an increase of 10% over 2010.”

Shearer said the group continues to explore opportunities for acquiring complementary businesses to supplement our organic growth, but added: “Though we have not recently found any that meet our criteria for adding value to shareholders.”

He said the group had expected to receive its licence to become an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) following the deregulation of the legal services market but delays have meant the legal insurer will have to wait until the first half of 2012.