For the year ended 31 December 2019:
- Gross premiums written up by 8.1% in constant currency, despite disciplined action to reduce $200 million in underperforming lines.
- Group profits were impacted by large catastrophe events, with $165 million reserved for Hurricane Dorian and Typhoons Faxai and Hagibis, in addition to $25 million of reduced fees and profit commissions.
- Hiscox Retail now a $2.2 billion business with profits increased by 22% to $178.4 million. Combined ratio of 98.7%, in line with guidance of between 97-99% for 2019.
- Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe generate good profits, driven by a strong performance in small business insurance.
- Hiscox USA is profitable, with action taken to improve performance in D&O and media business progressing as planned.
- 180,000 Retail customers added in 2019, taking the total to 1.2 million globally – including more than 450,000 direct and partnerships customers. Growth in Retail expected to be in the middle of the 5-15% target range for 2020.
- Retail combined ratio to improve by 1-2% per annum and return to 90-95% target range in 2022.
- Hiscox London Market impacted by catastrophes and property claims, but market conditions continue to improve. Hiscox Syndicate 33 increased its capacity by 19% to make the most of any opportunities for profitable growth in 2020 as rates rise for the third successive year, up in 14 out of 15 lines.
- Hiscox Re & ILS impacted by natural catastrophes, market-wide adverse development on prior year catastrophes, as well as deterioration in some previously exited lines.
- Strong investment return of $223.0 million (2018: $38.1 million).
- Robust reserves 9.4% above actuarial estimate, with continued positive development in Retail. Reserve releases expected to be between 3-5% of opening net reserves in 2020.
- Full year dividend up by 3.5% to 29.6 cents, in line with the Group’s progressive dividend policy.
Bronek Masojada, Chief Executive Officer, Hiscox Ltd, commented:
“Our strategy of balance, between big-ticket lines and our more steady retail earnings, provides resilience and opportunity. Our growing Retail profits and strong investment return has enabled us to weather a third consecutive year of storms. We are investing for growth as we look to capture the many opportunities we see ahead.”
|Gross premiums written ($m)||4,030.7||3,778.3|
|Net premiums earned ($m)||2,635.6||2,573.6|
|Profit before tax ($m)||53.1||135.6|
|Combined ratio (%)||105.7||94.9|
|Basic earnings per share (¢)||17.2||41.6|
|Total ordinary dividend per share for year (¢)||43.4||41.9|
|Net asset value per share (¢)||768.2||798.6|
|Tangible net asset value per share (¢)||670.6||726.2|
|Return on equity (%)||2.2||5.3|
Operational highlights and Group KPIs.