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Hastings Group ups interim dividend by 10%

Hastings Group Holdings PLC's board declared an interim dividend of 4.5 pence per share for the six months ended June 30, up 10% from 4.1 pence per share a year earlier.

The interim dividend will be paid Nov. 9 to shareholders on the register Oct. 5.

Hastings Group reported first-half profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of £72.9 million, up from £57.9 million in the prior-year period.

The U.K.-based insurer's net earned premiums stood at £219.2 million, up from £195.1 million a year ago. Gross written premiums also increased year over year to £485.6 million from £462.0 million.

EPS came in at 11.1 pence, compared to the year-ago 8.8 pence.

Hastings Group said it is experiencing claims inflation of around 5% per annum and expects claims inflation for the full year at the higher end of the 3% to 5% range previously advised. The group, however, noted that it is "well positioned" to deliver all its 2019 targets despite the competitive market and expected claims inflation.