Hastings pays maiden dividend for 2015

DividendMax Ltd.

Hastings pays maiden dividend for 2015


Another year of strong, profitable growth, with gross written premiums up 27% to £614.9 million (2014: £483.4 million), net revenue up 20% to £481.0 million (2014: £400.9 million) and Group operating profit up 19% to £126.1 million (2014: £105.7 million):

Continued increase in customer policies and market share, with live policies up 19% to 2.04 million (31 December 2014: 1.71 million) and market share of UK private car increased to 5.8% (31 December 2014: 5.1%).

Continued upward trajectory in home and telematics, with policy number increasing 87% and 58% respectively.

Continued investment for future growth, with implementation of Guidewire to support claims handling and process improvement and opening of new Leicester site.

Calendar year loss ratio of 75.4%, maintained at low end of 75% to 79% target range (2014: 72.4%).

Delivery of healthy cash flow and accelerated debt repayment, with retail cash generation up 28% to £81.2 million (2014: £63.3 million) and net debt leverage multiple reduced to 2.1x (31 December 2014: 3.6x).

Ongoing active risk management, with all 2016 reinsurance cover in place and approaching 50% of quota share arrangements by value now on minimum of two year terms.

Strong financial position, with Solvency I coverage of 373% (31 December 2014: 268%) and Solvency II coverage (unaudited) of 156%.

Proposed maiden dividend of 2.2p per share, which represents a payout ratio of 56.5% of one third of adjusted profit after tax in line with the intentions set out by the Board at the time of the IPO.

Gary Hoffman, Chief Executive Officer of Hastings Group Holdings plc, commented: 

"2015 was a year of significant achievement for Hastings. Our agile, data-driven model has continued to deliver strong profitable growth, with gross written premiums up 27% and Group profits at record levels. We continue to deliver on our promises made at the time of the IPO and are pleased to announce our first dividend as a public company of 2.2p per share.

"Our business goes from strength to strength. Our unique approach has attracted over 2 million live customers, helped us to grow our market share in UK private car to 5.8% and to increase home policies by 87% and telematics policies by 58% in the year. Our innovative use of data across the business, rigorous focus on underwriting discipline and award winning counter-fraud operations have helped deliver a loss ratio of 75.4%, at the low end of our target range.

"At the same time, we achieved a successful IPO in October and this, together with the profitability of our operations, has helped us to further strengthen our solvency position and to reduce leverage to 2.1x. We have also invested in the future growth of the business, in particular in the roll-out of the Guidewire system and welcoming 300 colleagues to our new Leicester site. 

"I'm extremely proud of our 2,300 colleagues who helped us achieve our successes in 2015. Building on this momentum, we have had a positive start to the current year and remain well positioned to continue to deliver profitable growth in 2016. We remain on track to meet or beat the four targets we set at our IPO."

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