Dividend increased in contrast to other insurers

RSA has signalled its confidence by increasing its dividend despite posting a slight fall in profit for the half year.

Financial highlights (2008 in brackets)

  • Net written premiums £3,486m (£3,364m)
  • Underwriting result £183m (£179m)
  • Combined operating ratio 93.5% (93.0%)
  • Operating result £392m (£440m)
  • Profit before tax £301m (£395m)
  • Profit after tax £223m (£292m)
  • Interim dividend per ordinary share 2.92p (2.73p)

Andy Haste, group CEO said: “In what remain challenging trading and economic conditions, we have again delivered a robust performance. We’ve targeted profitable organic growth and completed acquisitions in Central and Eastern Europe, Canada and Ireland. We’ve maintained our tight operational and financial management and continued to take the right action on rate and expenses.

“We successfully completed our £500m subordinated debt issue and remain in a strong capital and financial position. These results continue to demonstrate the positive impact of our diversified portfolio and our high quality, low risk investment strategy.

“With these actions and the strength of the portfolio, we are well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities and remain confident in the Group’s ability to continue delivering sustainable profitable performance.

“As it stands today, we expect to achieve a combined operating ratio for 2009 of around 95%. The outlook for the Group is positive and this is reflected in the 7% increase in the interim dividend to 2.92p.”