Executive Summary

Strong growth in inflows 

  • Non-Life Gross Written Premiums up 70.1% to GBP 1,721.3 million compared to FY 2010
  • Total inflows from Retail businesses up 47.5% to GBP 213.6 million   
  • Protection GWP up 89.4% to GBP 44.6 million and New Annual Premiums up 37% to GBP 30.9 million 
  • Total income up 67.8% to GBP 1,979.5 million

Significant improvements in performance  

  • Profit Before Tax has risen to GBP 105.0 million  (FY 2010: GBP loss of 24.8 million)
  • Overall combined ratio at 99.9% (FY 2010: 109.5%)
  • Ageas Insurance Motor combined ratio shows very strong improvement to 95.4% (FY 2010: 105.4%)

Well capitalised business

  • Strong capital positions in Ageas Insurance Limited, Ageas Protect and Tesco Underwriting

Continued progress in development of multi-distribution and product strategy  

  • Strong organic growth within Ageas Insurance Limited
  • Gross Written Premiums of GBP 655.3 million from Tesco Underwriting partnership with over 1.5 million customers
  • Successful integration of Castle Cover into Retail activities; Ageas Retail is 9th largest broker and 4th largest Personal lines broker in the UK 
  • Protection distribution expanded; strong growth in customer numbers

Announcing the 2011 year end results, Barry Smith, Chief Executive of Ageas UK commented:

 “2011 has been a great year for Ageas UK.  We set out to deliver significant growth and a step change in profits and  this has been achieved thanks to a tremendous team effort, resulting in our best ever performance.  We are also delighted with the continuing positive advocacy from our brokers, Independent Financial Advisers, partners and customers as evidenced by the number of awards for service, partnership and delivery Ageas UK has won during the year.  Overall, it has been a very pleasing year and the successes we have achieved position us well for the future.  As ever, we remain focused on delivering another successful result during 2012.”  

Business Results

Ageas UK 

Ageas UK’s businesses continue to deliver strong performance, reflecting a clear and consistent multi-distribution strategy and partnership approach with brokers, affinities, IFAs, intermediaries 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.

2011 income is at record levels.  In addition to the launch of the Tesco Underwriting business, there has been strong organic growth in Ageas Insurance Limited, Ageas Retail and Ageas Protect through increased business with brokers, IFAs and new partnerships.   

Total premium income reached GBP 1,979.5 million, a rise of 67.8% compared to the same period last year and overall pre-tax profit across Ageas UK also reached record levels, increasing to GBP 105.0 million.

Ageas UK continues to receive strong recognition from brokers, partners, IFAs and suppliers, winning 33 awards and accolades during 2011.  This includes the British Insurance Awards General Insurer of the Year and for the fourth consecutive year, the Gold Standard award, with Ageas UK remaining the only insurer to have won this accolade in the General Insurer category. 


Ageas Insurance Limited 

Total Gross Written Premiums (GWP) during 2011 increased by 15.2% over the same period in 2010 to GBP 1,066.1 million (2010 GBP 925.1 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 was up 25.0% to GBP 299.9 million (FY 2010: GBP 239.9 million), Private car income was up 6.1% to GBP 467.7 million (FY 2010: GBP 440.7 million) and Travel GWP up 5.5% to GBP 60.6 million (FY 2010: GBP 57.4 million).

Complementing its Personal lines performance, Ageas Insurance Limited saw a 24.3% growth in Commercial lines GWP to GBP 203.8 million (FY 2010: GBP 163.9 million).  This is a result of its targeted strategy across the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) market, offering high service, low cost propositions that meet brokers’ needs.  Ageas Insurance Limited continues to develop its electronic trading capability with the clear objective to make it easier and more efficient for brokers to write Commercial lines business with Ageas.

Ageas Insurance Limited’s combined ratio was 98.8% (FY 2010 108.8%). In terms of Private car, Ageas has continued its consistent approach of pricing to reflect the underlying risk. These actions have led to very positive results on Ageas Insurance’s Motor combined ratio which is now 95.4%, an improvement of 10% on the same period last year.

Profit before tax for Ageas Insurance Limited reached GBP 67.7 million (FY 2010: loss of GBP 16.6 million).

Recognition for Ageas Insurance Limited’s service quality continued during the period.  Ageas Insurance was awarded Personal Lines Insurer of the Year, Motor Insurance Company of the Year as well as being given “World Class” status by the Institute of Customer Services. 

Tesco Underwriting:  

Tesco Underwriting, the Motor and Household insurance partnership with Tesco Bank, of which 50.1 per cent is owned by Ageas, launched in mid October 2010. The business now has over 1.5 million customers, generating GWP of GBP 655.3 million during 2011. 

Life Protection: 

Ageas Protect continued to make good progress, with total GWP inflow increasing by 89.4% to GBP 44.6 million (FY 2010: GBP 23.6 million) and New Annual Premiums increasing by 37% to GBP 30.9 million (FY 2010: GBP 22.7 million). 

This continued growth reflects the successful roll out of the company’s Protection proposition to an increasing number of IFAs, growing its IFA market share to 8.1% (FY 2010 6.4%).  In addition, Ageas Protect continues to make progress with its multi-distribution strategy, with recently launched affinity partnerships with ASDA and Budget Group Limited, expanding its distribution capability to complement its growing presence in the IFA market. 

In only its third year of operation, the business now protects over 190,000 lives, an increase of 70,000 lives over the same period last year. Growth in the Protection business has been heavily driven by its award-winning approach to underwriting, market-leading technology, service and product innovation.  Ageas Protect was voted Best Protection Provider at the 2011 PTFS Awards and received a “Five Star Service” award at the 2011 Financial Adviser Service Awards. 

During 2011, the company launched an improved critical illness product (applied retrospectively to support existing customers) and an innovative new product labelling initiative to help consumers understand the Protection cover they have to ensure it meets their needs.  Both initiatives have been supported by Protection advisers. 

In line with its continued development since its launch in July 2008, the business significantly reduced its pre-tax loss to GBP 5.2 million compared to the same period last year (FY 2010: pre-tax loss GBP 10.2m).

Other Insurance Activities:

Ageas UK’s Other Insurance activities, which principally comprise the Retail companies, continued to trade well in a competitive environment.  Ageas Retail consists of RIAS, Kwik Fit Financial Services (KFFS), Ageas Insurance Solutions (UKAIS) and from March 24 2011, Castle Cover. Total inflows increased 47.5% to GBP 213.6 million (FY 2010: GBP 144.8), driven by the recent acquisitions, strong organic portfolio growth and good growth from affinity partnerships.

The development of Ageas UK Retail, part of Ageas UK’s targeted strategy to strengthen its overall distribution and manufacturing mix, has been significant during 2011.  The combination of the Retail companies means that Ageas Retail is the 9th largest broker and 4th largest Personal lines broker in the UK.  

Profit Before Tax for the Other Insurance activities including the Retail businesses increased to GBP 34.3 million (FY 2010: GBP 17.6 million).

Ageas UK’s Retail companies were also recognised for their high quality partnership, service and delivery ethos during 2011.  KFFS won three UK Broker Awards (Personal Lines Intermediary of the Year, Intermediary of the Year and the Investment in People Award); The Green Insurance Company (part of KFFS) won Best Sustainability Initiative; Ageas Insurance Solutions collected the Best Outsourced Partnership of the Year, Best Use of IT and Best Use of Customer Relationship Management and RIAS won a Trusted Motor Insurance Provider award.