Results season isn’t over just yet – and today the numbers are in for Hiscox Ltd.
The global specialist insurer, in a release this morning, reported a pre-tax profit of US$137.4 million (around SG$185.5 million) for the year ended December 31, 2018. This massive leap from 2017’s US$39.7 million (around SG$53.6 million) was attributed to last year’s strong underwriting result of US$148 million (around SG$199.82 million).
Meanwhile gross written premium (GWP) rose to US$3.8 billion from US$3.3 billion previously. Group combined ratio also improved from 99.9% to 94.9% in 2018.
“The standout performer was Hiscox London Market, which returned to growth and profit after three years of disciplined cycle management,” noted the FTSE 100 insurer. “Hiscox Retail wrote over US$2 billion of premium and served one million customers for the first time, and its profits cover the dividend for the third consecutive year.”
The Bermuda-headquartered insurance group joined the FTSE 100 Index on December 24, 2018.
It added: “Hiscox Re & ILS was impacted by a second year of significant natural catastrophes and some large individual claims. Kiskadee Investment Managers’ assets under management are now at US$1.5 billion.”
Chairman Robert Childs said the reinsurance and ILS operations, in particular, experienced a very active year for claims – citing exposure to hurricanes and wildfires in the US, typhoons in Japan, hailstorms in Australia, and large claims in cyber and marine hull.
“We have generated strong growth and good profits in a busy year for claims,” commented chief executive Bronek Masojada. “The tough action we took in our London Market business is paying off, and we are seeing some positive momentum in big-ticket lines, where rates, terms, and conditions are improving.
“We are growing well in our chosen retail segments, and our small market shares mean the size of the opportunity in retail remains immense. We will continue to invest in our people, infrastructure, and brand and maintain our focus on disciplined growth.”
Catering to customers worldwide, Hiscox employs more than 3,300 people in 14 countries. It announced a 5.2% higher final dividend of 28.6¢, with a payment date of June 12.