It’s ‘so far, so good’ for Sabre Insurance Group Plc.
Releasing a trading update for the nine months ending September 30, the private motor insurer cited “superior” underwriting performance and strong organic capital generation for the period. Sabre said it continues to expect that the firm will deliver an above-target combined ratio for 2018. The goal for the financial year is in the mid-70%s, higher than 2017’s combined ratio of 68.5%.
The Surrey-based provider also pointed to the “potential for an attractive full-year dividend,” with its solvency coverage ratio far exceeding its objective.
“Our absolute focus on profitability has yielded a strong underwriting result for the year to date and has allowed us to generate significant excess capital during the period under review,” noted Sabre chief executive Geoff Carter. “Having paid an interim dividend of 7.2 pence per share, the solvency capital ratio as at September 30, 2018 is at 195%, well above our target operating range of 140%-160%.
“This provides the board the option to return surplus capital to shareholders following the full-year results, should the capital position improve further throughout the remainder of 2018.”
Carter explained that they have continued to apply Sabre’s core philosophy of zeroing in on underwriting profitability throughout a period of strong competition in the UK motor insurance sector.
Meanwhile gross written premium for the first nine months reached £162.6 million.
“As communicated earlier in the year, we have sought to cover anticipated claims inflation and will continue this focus throughout the rest of this year,” said the CEO. “While premiums for Q3 2018 were slightly below a strong comparative period in Q3 2017, we remain confident that we will end the year with premium in-line with 2017.”