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RSA boasts good start to 2016 on 'strong' Q1 performance

underscored what its executive team described as a good start to 2016, withoperating and net attributable profits in the first quarter that were"strong and ahead of our expectations."

Thegroup reported net written premiums of £1.58 billion in the first quarter, downslightly from £1.59 billion year over year. RSA noted that the first-quarter2015 figure presents premiums from its Latin American businesses as part of discontinued andnoncore operations.

Weatherevent costs in RSA's core business amounted to £23 million, representing 1.5%of net earned premiums in the 2016 period. Large losses for the core divisionreached £142 million, representing 9.5% of net earned premiums.

Netwritten premiums in the U.K. and Ireland reached £635 million, from £622million in the first quarter of 2015, while the amount from Canada declinedover the same period to £209 million from £214 million.

RSA'snet written premiums in Scandinavia dropped to £581 million from £611 million,as growth in Sweden was offset by lower Danish premiums, partly due to thetransfer of the marine portfolio to Britain. Net written premiums from theGroup Re unit brought in income of £32 million, compared to losses of £103million in the first quarter of 2015.

Thegroup reported net written premiums of £118 million from its discontinued andnoncore operations, down from £247 million on a yearly basis.

RSA'sinvestment portfolio stood at £13.85 billion as of March 31, up from £12.98billion as of Dec. 31, 2015, largely driven by the weakening of the poundsterling.

RSAsaid it expects to complete the disposals of its two Latin American by mid-2016.