Hastings sees strong growth

Hastings Insurance Group has today released its full 2014 results, with the company witnessing strong growth in customer numbers and gross written premiums.

Gross written premiums increased by 19% to £496.2m (2013: £415.7m), largely driven by higher sales volumes to both new and existing customers.

Customer numbers as at 31 December 2014 were up 20% to 1.71m (2013: 1.42m). Group gross written premiums increased by 19% to £483.4m (2013: £407.2m), whilst group net revenue was up 17% to £400.9m (2013: £342.4m).

Adjusted Group profit before tax increased by 29% to £69.3m (2013: £53.6m) whilst adjusted Group EBITDA increased by 18% to £106.4m (2013: £90.3m).

Adjusted EBITDA for the retail business increased by 35% to £69.9m (2013: £51.8m), as adjusted EBITDA for the underwriting business too increased by 12% to £37.4m (2013: £33.4m).

Net revenue increased by 17% to £400.9m (2013:£342.4m), reflecting the increase in live customer policies of 20% to 1.71m as at 31 December 2014 (2013: 1.42m).

Net insurance claims increased by 19% to £152.4m (2013: £127.7m), primarily reflecting increased volumes and claims frequency.

Adjusted Group EBITDA (EBITDA after adding back restructuring costs arising from the transaction with Goldman Sachs, and other one off costs in 2013) increased by 18% to £106.4m (2013: £90.3m).

In its annual presentation the group stated:
• Following a long period of premium deflation, we have seen small premium increases in the market in H2 2014
• We have also observed increases in claims frequency in 2014. Our disciplined approach to pricing, including targeted rate increases during the year, puts us in a strong position. Our average premium in H2 2014 was higher than the same period in the prior year
• In early 2015, we have continued to implement targeted rate increases. We continue to see some market wide premium inflation
• We remain well prepared for the implementation of Solvency II
• We continue to engage positively with regulators and remain well positioned to comply with all known and anticipated regulatory changes which affect the industry. We support all changes aimed at benefitting consumers and creating greater transparency