Church insurer turns around £22.5m loss in 2008 into second best ever profits in 2009

Ecclesiastical posted its second best ever results, turning around a £22.5m loss in 2008 into a £79m profit last year.

Key highlights:

  • Strong overall Group performance
  • Underwriting profit of £27.0m (£1.9m loss in 2008)
  • Good premium growth across the Group with results above budget
  • 11% increase to £427.7m GWP (£403.6m in 2008)
  • A rise in the value of UK equities has resulted in increased investment returns
  • Net investment return was a gain of £122m (£52.6m loss in 2008)
  • Overall pre-tax profit of £79.0m (£22.5m loss in 2008) – the Group’s second-highest ever
  • Overall combined ratio of 89.6% (100.8% in 2008)
  • Total grants payable to our charitable owner of £8.5m – the highest sustainable grant the Group has ever made

Chief executive Michael Tripp said: “2009 was a very positive year for Ecclesiastical. Our pre-tax profit of nearly £80m is the second highest ever result for the company. This is a great achievement in such turbulent times. Although the economic downturn continued and its effects had an impact on Ecclesiastical, our strong financial results prove that we have recovered well from 2008 and we are starting from a very strong position for 2010.

“Despite the continuing soft market, tough trading conditions and fierce competition, our UK and overseas businesses all performed well and continued to grow in all our key niches. Our gross written premiums increased above target, our fund management expertise and a recovery in the investment markets provided high investment returns and our customers weren’t hit as hard with claims as in previous years. All this has enabled us to give £8.5m to our charitable owner this year, which is the highest-ever sustainable grant we have been able to give.

“There is good momentum in our business and, despite economic uncertainties and the challenges 2010 will bring, we are well placed to build on our successes of the last year.”