Listed insurer still looking for a new chief executive reports sharp gains in profit and GWP

Esure Group reported pretax profits up by more than a third for the year to December 2017, and said it is on track to deliver its 3 million policy target by 2020.

The group, which is hunting for a new chief executive after the sudden departure of Stuart Vann in January, reported pretax profit up 36% to £98.6m, while gross written premiums rose 25% to £820m and combined operating ratio improved 2.1 percentage points to 96.7%.

The number of in-force policies rose 9% to 2.37m.

“2017 has been a year of significant delivery and I look forward to 2018 with great confidence,” said interim chief executive Darren Ogden.

“In 2018, we are targeting a similar combined operating ratio to 2017, assuming normal weather, as we look to deliver a positive contribution and grow the business.

Esure 2017  2016
 Pretax profit   £98.6m  £72.7m
 GWP  £820.2m  £655.0m
 COR  96.7%  98.8%
 In-force policies  2.37m   2.17m

“Our footprint expansion in Motor continues to build momentum and we now have over 300,000 in-force policies in these new segments.

“We remain on track to achieve our 3 million in-force policy target by 2020.” 

“Our digital proposition continues to evolve as we deploy innovative technologies across the business to deliver for our customers. I am continually impressed by my colleagues’ hard work, energy and dedication in making sure we provide a great service to all our customers.

“We continue to deliver profitable growth and remain on track for our three million in-force policy target by 2020.”

Vann left the listed insurer suddenly on 18 January “by mutual consent”. He had been with the company for 17 years, and chief executive since 2012.

Chairman Peter Wood said this morning that Esure will be seeking a replacement with digital experience.

He said Esure is looking for “new leadership, steeped in digital and data experience to take the business to the next level. Our search for a successor has commenced and we are looking for a leader with significant expertise and experience in a broad spectrum of customer facing businesses.”