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RSA Insurance ups dividend despite YOY fall in H1 profit

RSA Insurance Group PLC reported first-half statutory profit attributable to equity holders of the parent company of £170 million, down from £235 million a year ago.

EPS for the first half was 15.3 pence, down from 21.6 pence in the first half of 2018.

Gross written premiums fell year over year to £3.91 billion from £3.95 billion. Net earned premiums remained relatively flat at £3.21 billion, while net claims ticked up to £2.16 billion from £2.15 billion a year earlier.

The company booked a loss on disposal of business of £17 million in the first half, compared to profit of £2 million a year ago.

Return on tangible equity stood at 11.0%, down from 16.2% in the first half of 2018. On an underlying basis, return on tangible equity fell on a yearly basis to 13.4% from the year-ago 15.6% and came in at 15.0% in the first half excluding exits, within the group's 13% to 17% target range.

The combined ratio deteriorated year over year to 95.2% from 94.7%. Excluding exits, the combined ratio improved to 94.3%.

RSA reported a Solvency II coverage ratio of 167% at the end of June, above its 130% to 160% target range, compared to 170% at 2018-end.

The group declared an interim dividend of 7.5 pence per ordinary share, up from 7.3 pence per share in the first half of 2018.