Benign weather over the first half of the year spurs growth in insurer’s commercial book

Simon Lee RSA

RSA’s UK business has recorded an underwriting profit of £73m for H1 2013, a leap of £83m from the £10m loss the company recorded over the same period last year.

UK combined operating ratio fell by 7.5 percentage points to 93.1 (H1 2012: 100.6). Net written premiums increased by 3% to £1,537m (H1 2012: £1,497).

RSA group chief executive Simon Lee said: “We are making good progress in the turnaround of performance in the UK and western Europe. The reduction in earnings from lower interest rates is beginning to slow down. The outlook for earnings is positive.”

UK premiums grew 6% in commercial business, but were partly offset by a fall of 1% in personal lines.

RSA said the boom in underwriting profits reflected actions to improve profitability as well as the adverse weather over the first half of 2012.

Growth in commercial

Commercial premiums have gone up by 6% to £884m (H1 2012: £836m), while underwriting profits have jumped to £25m, up from the loss of £19m last year.

RSA attributed the improvement in underwriting performance to a strong result in property, driven by prudent risk selection, a refined approach to reinsurance purchasing, and benign weather.

The commercial motor book made a £7m loss, £21m better than H1 2012.

Slow down for personal

Though UK personal premiums have come down by 1% to £653m (H1 2012: £661m), underwriting profits went up by 23% to £48m. The company also attributes this to fewer bad weather claims. Household has grown by 3%, while pet fell by 8%.

Group results

RSA Group as a whole made an H1 2013 net profit after tax of £190m, up 24% from £153m it reported for H1 2012.

The underwriting result was also positive, at £188m, up 26% from £149m last year, while the combined operating ratio improved by 1.2 points to 94.2%, down from 95.4 from H1 2012.

Net written premiums rose by 9% to £4,652m (H1 2012: £4,276m).

Lee said: “These are a good set of results demonstrating continued progress and the benefits of our diversified business model.”

RSA UK H1 results (compared with H1 2012)


Net written premium: £1537m (£1,497m)

Underwriting result: £73m (£-10m)

Combined operating ratio: 93.1% (100.6)


Household: £334m (£324m)

Motor: £215m (£224m)

Pet: £104m (£113m)


Property: £258m (£266m)

Liability: £140m (£137m)

Motor: £310m (£278m)

Marine: £176m (£155m)