Strong growth in inflows

  • Total income up 88.6% to GBP 1,358.2 million compared to Q3 2010 -Non-Life Gross Written Premiums up 88.5% to GBP 1,326.9 million
  • Total inflows for Other Insurance including Retail businesses up 70% to GBP 163.0 million   
  • Protection GWP almost doubled to GBP 31.3 million and New Annual Premiums up 77.3% to GBP 23.4 million

Improvements in performance

  • Profit Before Tax has risen more than four-fold to GBP 78.3 million  (Q3 2010: GBP 16.6 million)
  • Overall combined ratio at 99.9% (Q3 2010: 104.9%)
  • Ageas Insurance Motor ratio continues to improve to 96.4% (Q3 2010: 106.9%)

Well capitalised business  

  • Strong capital position in Ageas Insurance, Ageas Protect and Tesco Underwriting  Continued progress in development of multi-distribution and product strategy
  • Strong growth across Non-Life Personal and Commercial lines
  • Gross Written Premiums of GBP 591.1 million from Tesco Underwriting partnership since launch with over 1.4 million customers
  • Successful integration of Castle Cover into Retail activities consolidating Ageas as the 4th largest Personal lines broker in the UK
  • Protection distribution expanded; now has 175,000 customers

Announcing the 2011 third quarter results, Barry Smith, Chief Executive of Ageas UK commented:  
 “I’m very pleased that the positive momentum we created earlier in the year has continued into the second half of 2011.  Transformational growth is being accompanied by a rise in profits and an improvement in combined ratios. This was always going to be an important year for Ageas UK as we make a step change in the expansion of our business and today’s results are a real credit to our team. 

The record number of awards and accolades we have won this year also shows that positive advocacy for Ageas remains strong and we will continue to focus on delivering for our brokers, IFAs, partners and customers. ”

Ageas UK  

Ageas UK’s businesses continue to deliver strong results, reflecting a clear and consistent multi-distribution strategy and partnership approach with brokers, affinities, Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) and our own Retail businesses. The combination of high quality service and low cost delivery remains a key area of focus for all the Ageas UK businesses.

Third quarter income is at record levels. There has been strong organic growth in Ageas Insurance, Ageas Retail and Ageas Protect through increased business with brokers, IFAs and new partnerships such as the recently announced deal with General Motors.  

In Ageas Insurance Limited, Motor performance continues to improve and a like for like comparison with the same period last year has seen a 10.5% improvement in its Motor combined ratio (Q3 2011 96.4% vs 106.9% Q3 2010).

Total income reached GBP 1,358.2 million, a rise of 88.6% compared to the same period last year and overall pre-tax profit across Ageas UK increased more than four-fold to GBP 78.3 million.

Ageas UK continues to receive strong recognition from brokers, partners, IFAs and suppliers, winning 25 awards and accolades during the first nine months of the year. 

Non-Life:   Ageas Insurance Limited 

Total Gross Written Premiums (GWP) in the first nine months of 2011 increased by 16.8% over the same period in 2010 to GBP 822.5 million, driven by the continued development of Ageas’s Personal and Commercial lines portfolios.

Growth in the Personal lines business reflected an increase across all product lines: the Household book to GBP 231.6 million (Q3 2010: GBP 177.2 million), Private car income to GBP 360.7 million (Q3 2010: GBP 346.4 million) and Travel GWP at GBP 49.2 million (Q3 2010: GBP 44.5 million).

Complementing its Personal lines performance, Ageas Insurance saw a 30.9% growth in Commercial lines GWP to GBP 156.7 million (Q3 2010: GBP 119.7 million).  This is a result of its targeted strategy to widen its product base and broaden its Commercial underwriting footprint across the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) market, offering high service, low cost propositions that meet brokers’ needs. Ageas Insurance continues to develop its electronic trading capability making it easier and more efficient for brokers to write Commercial lines business.
Ageas Insurance Limited’s combined ratio was 99.8% (Q3 2010 104.9%). In terms of Private car, Ageas has continued its consistent approach of pricing to reflect the underlying risk. These actions have led to positive results on Ageas Insurance’s Motor combined ratio which is now 96.4%, an improvement of 10.5% on the same period last year. Profit before tax for Ageas Insurance almost trebled to GBP 41.8 million (Q3 2010: GBP 14.7 million).

Recognition for Ageas Insurance’s service quality continued during the period and accolades included being voted first in both Insurance Age’s Sentiment Survey for Personal lines claims service and for electronic trading in Insurance Times’ Personal lines survey.  

Tesco Bank Partnership:

Tesco Underwriting, the Motor and Household insurance business with Tesco Bank, of which 50.1 per cent is owned by Ageas, began transacting business in mid October 2010. The business now has over
1.4 million customers, generating GWP of GBP 591.1 million since its launch, including GWP of GBP 504.5 million in the first nine months of 2011. 

Life Protection: 

Ageas Protect continued to make good progress, with total GWP inflow almost doubling to GBP 31.3 million (Q3 2010: GBP 16.0 million) and New Annual Premiums increasing to GBP 23.4 million (Q3 2010:
13.2 million).  

This continued growth reflects the successful roll out of the company’s Protection proposition to an increasing number of IFAs, where it now has a 7.8% IFA market share (Q3 2010 5.1%).i  In addition, Ageas Protect continues to make progress with its multi-distribution strategy, with recently launched affinity partnerships expanding its distribution capability to complement its growing presence in the IFA market. 

In only its third year of operation, the business now provides cover to over 175,000 customers, an increase of 69% compared to the same period last year. Growth in the Protection business has been heavily driven by its award-winning approach to underwriting, market-leading technology and product innovation.  Ageas Protect was voted Best Protection Provider at the 2011 PTFS Awards.
The company recently launched an innovative new product labelling initiative to help consumers understand the Protection cover they have to ensure it meets their needs. In line with its continued development, the business which was launched in July 2008, halved its pre-tax loss to GBP 1.6 million compared to the same period last year (Q3 2010: pre-tax loss GBP 3.3m).

Other Insurance Activities: 

Ageas UK’s Other Insurance activities which includes the Retail companies continued to trade well in a competitive environment.  Ageas Retail includes RIAS, Kwik Fit Financial Services (KFFS), Ageas Insurance Solutions (UKAIS) and from March 24 2011, Castle Cover. Total inflows increased 70% to GBP 163.0 million (Q3 2010: GBP 96.0), driven by the recent acquisitions, strong portfolio growth and good growth from affinity partnerships. 

The development of Ageas UK Retail has been significant over the last 12 months with the inclusion of KFFS and most recently Castle Cover.  This is part of Ageas UK’s targeted strategy to strengthen its overall distribution and manufacturing mix, adding nearly 1 million extra customers to the business. This has been supported by good organic growth in the Retail companies and the continuing development of partnerships. The recently announced deal with General Motors and its Vauxhall and Chevrolet brands went live during October.

Profit Before Tax for the Other Insurance Activities including the Retail businesses more than doubled to GBP 26.9 million (Q3 2010: GBP 12.9 million).

Ageas UK’s Retail companies were also recognised for their high quality partnership, service and delivery ethos during the period.  Kwik Fit Financial Services won three UK Broker Awards (Personal Lines Intermediary of the Year, Intermediary of the Year and the Investment in People Award) whilst Ageas Insurance Solutions collected the Best Outsourced Partnership of the Year at the North West Contact Centre Awards.