RSA stock price down 3% in response to profit drop and write-downs but Aviva’s up 2.6%

RSA’s share price fell 3% in trading yesterday to close at 430.50p as the stock market responded to the insurer’s 72% drop in pre-tax profits for the first half of 2014.

Meanwhile, rival insurer Aviva’s share price rose 2.6% to 502.50p after the company reported an 83% rise on profit before tax.

The two companies are at different stages of their restructuring plans. RSA has just embarked on its overhaul after discovering accounting and reserving problems at its Irish operations in November.

Aviva, meanwhile, is further along the journey with its restructuring, initiated by chairman John McFarlane in 2012.

RSA chief executive Stephen Hester warned yesterday that RSA’s UK division faced more job cuts after already making 100 people redundant in the first half of 2014. He also unveiled a £57m write-down of goodwill in the troubled Irish operations.

By contrast, Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson said yesterday that the company had already beat its cost saving target of £400m by the end of 2014.