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Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc - Year-End Results

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Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc

Announces results for the year ended 31 December 2019

Robust underwriting profits and a strong investment return

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc ("Ecclesiastical"), the specialist financial services group, today announces its full year 2019 results.

Highlights

  • Profit before tax of £73.3m (2018: £15.4m)
  • Investment returns of £74.4m (2018: £4.0m), reflecting recovery of markets following a downturn at the end of 2018
  • Underwriting profit of £20.0m (2018: £29.2m), giving a Group COR1 of 91.1% (2018: 86.4%). Underwriting profit reflects strong current year performance, and lower reserve releases compared with prior year
  • Gross written premium (GWP) increased by 10% to £394.0m (2018: £357.0m), supported by strong retention levels in existing markets and substantial growth in overseas territories
  • More than £32m was donated to charities during 2019 (2018: £18.8m). Over £96m of charitable donations have been made since 2016 towards our target of £100m by the end of 2020
  • Continued external recognition of the Group as a trusted and specialist financial services organisation. This included being named as the UK's best and most trusted insurer for the tenth time by independent ratings agency Fairer Finance, and EdenTree winning MoneyFacts Best Ethical Investment Provider for the 11th year in a row

Alternative performance measure, refer to the Reconciliation of Alternative Performance Measures note to this announcement for further explanation  

Mark Hews, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecclesiastical, said:

"2019 was another successful year for Ecclesiastical as we continued to focus on delivering sustainable and profitable growth for the long-term. I'm pleased to report an increase in pre-tax profits of £73.3m (2018: £15.4m) driven by strong investment returns. Underwriting results were again strong across the group at £20.0m (2018: £29.4m) and reflected anticipated lower reserve releases compared to prior year. This robust performance has strengthened our capital position which provides us with security today - including the ability to withstand any temporary economic disruption - as well as flexibility for the future.

"Thanks to the incredible support of our customers, brokers, business partners, employees and all our supporters, I am pleased to report that in 2019 we donated over £32m to charities. This takes our total donations since 2016 to over £96m and across the group we have now supported over 7,000 charities worldwide. With this wide ranging support, we are now within short reach of our £100m target and hope to achieve it by the end of 2020.

"Our focus on sustainable growth over the past few years has enabled us to invest significantly in the future of our business and 2019 saw us push forward with our ambitious plans. Work on our new head office is on schedule to be complete by the end of the year and we have continued to invest in new systems and technology, most notably the ongoing development of a new strategic UK General Insurance system which, once live, will help us to provide our customers and brokers with an enhanced experience and give us better processes and capacity.

"In line with our strategic goal to be the most trusted and ethical specialist financial services group, we have continued to win external accolades for the way we do business. For the tenth consecutive time, we were named by Fairer Finance as the best and most trusted provider of UK home insurance while EdenTree, our investment management business, was named MoneyFacts Best Ethical Investment Provider for the 11th year in a row. Our UK General Insurance business claimed two Insurance Post "Claims Awards", recognising the exceptional service and lengths our teams go to in order to ensure our customers are in safe hands."