Insurance firm Ageas UK has reported a 21% slump in net profits to £60.3m for the 2019 financial year.
The firm, which provides personal and commercial insurance solutions, said the results reflect a “resilient performance” in a market that continues to feel the impact of high levels of claims inflation, driven by increased third party and repair costs.
Ageas said income stabilised at £1.5bn during the period , despite the “strategic exit” from unprofitable schemes and partnerships in 2018.
Additionally, underlying growth was driven by a “significant” increase in the number of customers buying car insurance directly from Ageas through the aggregator channel, as well as new deals in the intermediated household market.
Andy Watson, chief executive of Ageas UK, said: As we look at our performance, 2019 was a year in which we stabilised our top line income after a difficult 2018 and maintained a resilient result given the tough market conditions.
“Our home book performed exceptionally well following the positive actions we’ve taken to remove underperforming schemes and grow through new deals, while also benefiting from the benign weather in comparison to 2018.”
He added: “As we look into the year ahead, we will see the additional benefit of our recently announced new deal with the Post Office, providing a range of home insurance products to new and existing customers.
“With a focus on the motor market, premium inflation is not keeping up with claims inflation, where the market continues to experience pressure predominantly driven by increased third party injury, damage and repair costs. While there are some signs of price increases, overall premium rates remain at an unsustainable level. This requires us to remain highly disciplined.”