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RSA H1 profit more than doubles YOY amid higher net earned premiums

RSA Insurance Group Plc reported first-half statutory profit attributable to equity holders of the parent company of £196 million, compared to the year-ago £85 million.

EPS amounted to 17.9 pence, up on a yearly basis from 7.8 pence.

First-half after-tax profit from continuing operations rose to £206 million from £125 million in the year-ago period. The group did not book a loss from discontinued operations for the half, compared to the year-ago loss of £34 million.

Gross written premiums reached £4.03 billion in the first half, compared to £3.73 billion a year earlier. Net earned premiums increased to £3.25 billion from £3.08 billion.

Net claims totaled £2.10 billion, compared to £2.01 billion.

The group's annualized return on tangible equity ratio reached 13.1% in the first half, up from 5.7% in the year-ago period. On an underlying basis, the ratio improved to 16.6% from 12.8%. The underlying combined ratio was 93.2%, compared to 94.7% in the first half of 2016.

The Solvency II coverage ratio stood at 163% at the end of June, compared to 158% as of Dec. 31, 2016.

RSA declared an interim dividend of 6.6 pence per ordinary share for the first half, up from 5.0 pence per share a year ago.

RSA said it will aim for premium growth and a lower attritional loss ratio in the second half, adding that it expects further cost reduction and efficiency gains. Overall, the company said it targets "attractive" full-year 2017 performance.