The FBD Group recorded a strong start to 2017, with profits before tax reaching €11.9 million in the first six months of the year.
This compared to a loss of €3.7 million that was reported in the same period last year. An underwriting profit of €11.1 million was recorded this year, in comparison to a €1.6 million loss noted in the first half of 2016.
An increase in gross written premiums between January and June brought the total to €189.7 million; this equated to a rise of €8.9 million or 4.9%.
The results for the first half of 2017 represent a solid start to the year, providing further evidence that FBD is on a clear path to the achievement of its targeted returns on equity, according to the group.
Strong start to the year
Meanwhile, this good set of results reflects the strong actions taken in the last few years, the FBD Group Chief Executive, Fiona Muldoon, said.
Our focus on delivery for our farm, small business and consumer customers has returned our business to profit.
“Our nationwide network of offices and our midlands-based service centre delivers real value and service to our customers and it is why they choose to give us their business in a difficult pricing environment.
“While we welcome the government report on reducing the cost of claims for all insurance users, we believe we need urgent reforms to tackle injury claims payouts and to address the impact claims costs are having on the affordability of insurance for farmers, small businesses and consumers up and down the country.
“In the absence of reform, all insurance customers will continue to pay the too-high cost of these awards through higher insurance premiums,” Muldoon concluded.
In the first six months of this year, new business volumes have increased by 15% compared to the second half of 2016 and 12% on the same period last year, figures show.
Overall policy volumes have now stabilised, according to the group, with a 0.3% decline in policies written compared to the first half of 2016.
Average premium rates increased by 2% in the period and 5% since the first half of 2016. The group is now targeting modest growth in its core areas while continuing to apply underwriting discipline.
The FBD Group amended its reinsurance arrangements at the outset of 2017, to what it believes is “a more effective programme providing better cover in extreme events, while accepting more attritional property risk”.
The impact of this has been an increase in net earned premium, partially offset by a reduction in reinsurance commission received, the group added.
Claims reserves overall are continuing to develop in line with expectations, according to the group.
In the first half of 2017, the group recorded a diluted profit per share of 30c per ordinary share – compared to a loss of 9c per ordinary share in the same period in 2016.
The group looks forward to developing on this success, targeting modest profitable growth and continued stabilisation in policy volumes in the second half of this year.