RSA operating profit jumps to €660m in 2015

British insurer RSA, which has operations in Ireland, posted a 2015 operating profit of £523m (€660m), up 43pc on a year earlier, it said on Thursday.

Analysts in a company-supplied forecast had expected an operating pre-tax profit of £481m.

Net written premiums totalled £6.8bn, down 3pc but in line with forecasts.

“In 2015, we delivered both value and risk reduction from successful disposals, Solvency II approval and a positive UK pension agreement,” chief executive Stephen Hester said in a trading statement.

“The Group’s strategic restructuring will complete in 2016 as remaining contracted disposals close.”

RSA, best known in Britain for its More Than insurance brand, published an end-2015 solvency capital ratio of 143pc under new European capital rules, and set a target ratio of 130-160pc.

A solvency ratio of 100pc means that an insurer has set aside enough capital to meet underwriting, investment and operational risks.

The firm had a combined ratio of 96.0 percent, against a forecast 97.1pc. A level below 100pc indicates an underwriting profit.

RSA said it would pay a final dividend of 7p and total dividend of 10.5p, compared with a forecast of 10.4p. It paid a total dividend of two pence in 2014.

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