Preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2008. “A robust performance in a turbulent market”

Preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2008. “A robust performance in a turbulent market”
Brit Insurance Holdings PLC, the international insurance and reinsurance group, today announces preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2008.
March 9, 2009

Brit Insurance Holdings PLC, the international insurance and reinsurance group, today announces preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2008.

HIGHLIGHTS - FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Return on equity 9.2% (2007: 22.1%)
Profit before tax £89.2m (2007: £191.2m)
Earnings per share 21.5p (2007: 43.2p)
Net tangible assets per share 248.2p (2007: 248.0p)
Gross written premiums £1,394.6m (2007: £1,264.9m)
Underlying gross written premium growth 4.2% (premiums adjusted for exchange rate movements)
Combined ratio 99.4% (93.9% excluding hurricanes)
Investment return 0.16% in difficult markets
Recommended final dividend of 7.5p per share making a total dividend of 15.0p per share for the year (2007: 15.0p dividend plus 7.0p special dividend per share). Final dividend payable on 18 May 2009 to shareholders on the register on 17 April 2009, ex-dividend date 15 April 2009

HIGHLIGHTS - FURTHER STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT AND CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

Netherlands identified as the preferred domicile of the Group’s holding company, subject to requisite clearances and approvals
Acquisition of 38.8% stake in Xbridge, an online insurance and finance technology company, through a £7.2m investment
Five year £150m revolving credit facility, entered into on 21 December 2007, undrawn throughout 2008 and at 8 March 2009

OUTLOOK

Capacity concerns will shape the global insurance market during 2009. Insurance capital has been eroded by the combined elements of significant catastrophe related claims during 2008 and by the varied and significant effects of economic turbulence. As a result, prospects for continued rating improvements are good across most classes and within all three of our underwriting businesses.

Our diversity, already a strong feature of our portfolio, will continue to develop in 2009, both by the nature of the risk that we are assuming and geographically.

The Group sees excellent prospects for continued profitable growth during the year.

Dane Douetil, Chief Executive Officer of Brit Insurance Holdings PLC, said:

“In a difficult year for insurance, our adherence to the principles of our strategy has led us to a strong result. Market conditions are improving further in most areas, our strong balance sheet and the subscription nature of much of our business are attractive to risk buyers and stand us in good stead for 2009.”

There will be a presentation to analysts at Brit Insurance’s office at 55 Bishopsgate at 10.15am today.

An audio webcast of the analysts’ presentation will be available on our website www.britinsurance.com from 3.00pm today.

Comments are closed.