Bad news day for Ageas

It’s a bad news day for Ageas with the announcement of annual losses of €56m in the UK last year, as well as the news that it will close its Uddingston offices in Lanarkshire on 31 March.

After a profit of €29.5m in 2015, losses in 2016 were driven by a €109.5m deficit for the fourth quarter of the year.

The company attributed the poor figures to €27m in costs for closing its site in Glasgow, a move that cost 521 people their jobs at Kwik Fit. Ageas also posted a €25m loss from its Special Risks unit and set aside €55m for the anticipated review of the Ogden discount rate.

Gross written premium including partnerships came in at €2.2bn for the year. Technically this was down on the €2.45bn for 2015. However, the results were reported for the first time in euros and Ageas noted that on a constant currency basis it had achieved a 1.2% increase.

The motor division delivered a four per cent rise (on constant currency basis), as did the household division.

In terms of combined operating ratio (COR), motor moved from 103% to 106.8%, while across the business it deteriorated to 106%.

Meanwhile, the closure of the Uddington branch follows a 45-day consultation with employees.

Ant Middle, CEO Ageas direct and prtnerships, said, ‘It’s with regret that we have decided to close our Uddingston office and we know our employees will be disappointed with this news. However, after talks with third parties, around 40 contact centre-based organisations have expressed strong interest in our workforce, with more than 1,800 relevant role opportunities being identified so far.

‘This not only evidences what we already know – that we have capable, skilled and experienced people – but also that there are many good opportunities in the local area. We will do all we can to support our people in securing alternative roles.’