The motor insurer’s first financial statement since its stock market listing shows continued strong performance 

Sabre Insurance reported increased underwriting profit and an improved combined operating ratio for 2017.

These are the motor insurer’s first financial results since its stock market listing last December.

Sabre reported gross written premium rose to £211m from £197m while the underwriting profit rose to £59.0m from £55.9m.

The group’s COR improved to 68.5% from 69.3% stemming from a continued focus on underwriting discipline, the company said.

Adjusted after tax profit slipped slightly to 353.3m from £53.9m due to investment losses.

Sabre Group 20172016
Gross written premium £210.7m £196.6m
Net loss ratio 46.50% 47.70%
Expense ratio 22.00% 21.60%
Combined operating ratio 68.50% 69.30%
Underwriting profit £59.0m £55.9m
Adjusted profit after tax £53.3m £53.9m
Solvency coverage ratio 160% 128%

“Sabre delivered a strong financial and operational performance in 2017 as we present our first set of results as a listed company,” Chief executive Geoff Carter said.

“Our strong underwriting capability underpinned by our expert analysis and unique data set based on over 15 years of experience provides us with an unrivalled ability to price risk across the risk spectrums,” he said

“This, together with our diversified multi-channel distribution network and strong claims management expertise, has been key to driving our strong financial performance in 2017 including delivering a combined operating ratio of 68.5%.”

Carter said that Sabre will continue to focus on delivering controlled growth.

“We will not drive short term growth at the expense of underwriting profitability or shareholder returns,” he said.

According to Carter, uncertainty over the future setting of the Ogden personal injury discount rate, and a fall in the frequency of personal injury claims resulted in competitive pricing pressure in the last few weeks of 2017, continuing into the first two months of this year.

He said this has resulted in a “modest” reduction in premium income compared with last year.

“We have since taken pricing actions, reflecting the reductions in personal injury frequency, and as a result in recent weeks, we have seen premium income come back to the run rate seen in the same period in 2017,” Carter said.

For the rest of 2018, he added, “We are confident that our focus on our core principles will continue to deliver a strong underwriting performance with a combined operating ratio in line with, or better than, our historical average. This will allow us to continue to strengthen our capital position even further, and underpins our confidence in delivering an attractive dividend in 2018.”