Hastings owner releases full-year financial results

Board's proposed dividend announced

Hastings owner releases full-year financial results

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

Sampo Plc, the Finland-headquartered insurance group that took full ownership of British general insurer Hastings last December, has published its financial results for 2021.

For the full year, Sampo Group enjoyed a 735% surge in profit before taxes – from €380 million in 2020 to 2021’s €3.17 billion. Of that sum, Hastings contributed €127 million; If, €1.08 billion; and Topdanmark, €346 million.

Profit for the period stood at €2.75 billion, which represents a massive leap from only €112 million previously. Underwriting profit, meanwhile, amounted to €1.28 billion – also an increase from 2020’s €967 million.

In its results announcement, the Finnish parent noted: “Sampo Group’s core business, P&C (property and casualty) insurance, achieved an underwriting result of €1,282 million in 2021, representing year-on-year growth of 32%. Adjusting for the Hastings acquisition and reported COVID-19 effects, underwriting profit growth was 19%.

“The group combined ratio improved by 2.0 percentage points year-on-year to 81.4%. Excluding reported COVID-19 effects, the combined ratio improved by 2.7 percentage points to 83.1%. Organic premium growth of 6%, combined with the acquisition of Hastings, drove a rise in premiums to €7,644 million.”

The result, said the company, is “well ahead” of its 2021-2023 annual financial targets of mid-single digit percent growth on average in underwriting profits and a combined ratio below 86%.

For the October to December 2021 quarter, Sampo Group’s profit before taxes reached €1.2 billion. The corresponding figure in the same three-month span in 2020 was a €675 million loss. Similarly, profit for the period bounced back from the red to post a positive result to the tune of €1.09 billion.

“I am delighted to report another strong quarter for Sampo Group,” commented group chief executive and president Torbjörn Magnusson, “with excellent financial results ahead of our targets and further progress on our strategic agenda, which aims to focus the group on its unique P&C operations.”

Magnusson added: “Sampo’s fourth quarter has, in many ways, mirrored 2021 as a whole, with excellent financial results and determined execution of our P&C-focussed strategic agenda. Although I am pleased with the progress made to date, I am equally determined for the group to carry this strong momentum into 2022 to ensure that we can continue to deliver attractive shareholder value creation.”

A dividend of €4.10 per share is being proposed by Sampo Plc’s board for the 2021 financial year.

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