Insurance company Royal and Sun Alliance has reported an eight per cent increase in global written premiums for the first nine months of 2007. Premiums totalled £4.4 billion for the nine-month period. International premiums also rose 8 per cent to £1.9 billion, driven by growth in the emerging markets.
Premiums in the UK were up 6 percent to £2 billion, with strong growth in personal lines (+29 per cent), particularly the company’s Affinity partnerships and MORE TH>N brands. However, this was partially offset by a decline in commercial premiums, which fell 5 per cent.
Group CEO, Andy Haste, attributes overall growth to a “strong and diversified portfolio” and to the company’s ability to “take the right action on rate”.
Meanwhile, AXA also posted higher revenues for the first three quarters, both globally and in the UK. Total revenues rose 22 per cent to €71.7 billion (£49.9 billion) from €58.6 in the corresponding period.
In the UK, new business annual premium equivalent rose 18 per cent to €1.2 billion with a 13 per cent growth in pension and a 22 per cent increase in Life Risk products business. UK new business volume increased 30 per cent to €113 million as a result of higher volumes.
Chairman of the board, Henri de Castries said the company’s property and casualty revenues "demonstrated good resilience in a competitive pricing environment, especially in retail lines," while its overall results showed “sustained top line momentum”.
So, despite continual reports of financial crisis in the UK in relation to recent turmoil in the US, the UK insurance sector appears to be holding its head above water. The quarter leading up to Christmas is likely to reveal whether a slowdown is on its way.
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