RSA Posts Lower-Than-Estimated Profit as Investments Decline

RSA Insurance Group Plc (RSA), the U.K.’s biggest non-life insurer by market value, posted a 14 percent increase in first-half profit, missing analysts’ estimates as investment income declined.

Pretax profit rose to 250 million pounds ($379 million) in the six months to June 30, from 219 million pounds in the year-earlier period, London-based RSA said in a statement today. That missed the 291 million-pound median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Earnings from investments fell 19 million pounds to 206 million pounds.

“The outlook for earnings is positive,” Simon Lee, chief executive officer, said in the statement. “The reduction in earnings from lower interest rates is beginning to slow down.”

The insurer said its combined ratio, or claims and expenses as a percentage of premiums, fell to 94.2 percent from 95.4 percent, indicating improved underwriting even after the company paid out claims relating to “severe flooding” in Alberta, Canada.

RSA also reduced its first-half payout to shareholders to 2.28 pence a share from 3.41 pence in the year earlier period.

Profit after tax fell to 190 million pounds, from 153 million pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at sjones35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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