UK fall of 3% out of kilter with worldwide sales figures

RSA announced Q3 net written premiums of £5.0bn up 4% on 2008 but the UK was down 3%.

Net written premium (2008 in brackets)

  • Scandinavia £1,320m (£1,258m)
  • Canada £755m (£668m)
  • Other Europe £387m (£346m)
  • Total International £2,462m (£2,272m)
  • UK Personal £829m (£824m)
  • UK Commercial £1,147m (£1,208m)
  • Total UK £1,976m (£2,032m)
  • Emerging Markets £575m (£538m)
  • Group Re £15m (£11m)
  • Total Group £5,028m (£4,853m)

Andy Haste, Group CEO, said: “We have produced another robust performance with our net written premiums again demonstrating the resilience of our strong and diversified portfolio.

“While economic conditions remain challenging, we are now seeing some encouraging signs, particularly in International and Emerging Markets.

“We are well positioned and taking the right actions to successfully manage through the downturn and take advantage as conditions improve.”

UK down

RSA said: “The UK remains a competitive market with overall premiums of £1,976m down 3% on last year. We are maintaining our strategy of pushing rate, targeting profitable growth and selective capacity withdrawal where we cannot achieve target returns.

“In Personal lines, premiums increased by 1% to £829m, with new Affinity deals and strong growth in Personal Broker offsetting lower new business levels related to mortgage origination and car sales.

“In Commercial, premiums of £1,147m were 5% down on last year, with lower premiums in Commercial Motor schemes and the Mid-Market segment partially mitigated by strong performances in Specialty lines including Risk Solutions and Marine.

Rates pushed

“We continue to take the right action on rate and have achieved a 7% rate increase in Personal Motor and 4% in Household. In Commercial, we have pushed rate hard and achieved increases of 8% on Liability, Property and Motor.

Head count down

“At our full year results in February, we announced a further £70m cost savings target in the UK, to be delivered by mid 2010, with plans to reduce headcount by 1,200. We are on track to achieve this and as of today, we have announced 1,050 of the roles, of which 650 have already left the business.”