McIntyre underplays technical mastery in underwriting

Royal and SunAlliance (R&SA) has been "too modest" about its technical skills, service and products, according to its new UK chief executive.

Delivering her first set of results since replacing Duncan Boyle, Bridget McIntyre said that 2005 had seen the group achieve a "healthy capital position" and that confidence had risen internally in the organisation.

"It is now about expressing that externally. The technically mastery in our underwriting teams is fabulous," she added.

R&SA posted a robust set of figures for the year ended 2005.

Net written premiums in commercial were £1.8bn, up 29% on 2004, posting a £115m underwriting profit, up £43m on 2004.

The insurer won £227m of new business during 2005 and increased customers in marine, risk solutions and property investors. McIntyre said: "Our SME business has been a great success with a 35% rise in business, plus our marine business has grown 36% in 2005. Again this is down to strong underwriting discipline."

More Th>n achieved a combined ratio of 92.4% compared to 96% in 2004, with net written premiums £432m, up 11% on 2004. R&SA said that about 50% of motor and 25% of its household new business sales were generated through the web.

It also signed 12 new broker and brand panels, plus 10 affinity deals in 2005. These included Carcraft, Yorkshire Building Society, AA, Kwik-Fit, and Halfords.

R&SA's results in brief
Group net written premiums - £5.4bn (2004: £5.1bn)

Group profit before tax - £865m (2004: £38m)

Personal lines:

Net premiums £830m - (2004: £782m)

Underwriting profit £39m