Hastings 2018 interim results
Sustained growth of live customer policies to 2.70 million as at 30 June 2018, a 6% year on year increase (30 June 2017: 2.54 million).
Increased share of the UK private car insurance market to 7.5% as at 30 June 2018 (30 June 2017: 7.0%).
Continued growth in gross written premiums of 5% to £485.6m for the six months ended 30 June 2018 (30 June 2017: £462.0m).
A 9% increase in net revenue to £376.3m for the six months ended 30 June 2018 (30 June 2017: £345.2m).
Strong growth in adjusted operating profit up 22% to £105.1m (30 June 2017: £86.5m) after including £14.6m of prior year VAT recovery and £7.0m impact from adverse weather in the first quarter, or up 13% to £97.5m before the adverse weather and prior year VAT.
Underwriting discipline maintained during a period of market price reductions, with the Group's average written premiums 2% above the six months ended 30 June 2017.
Calendar year loss ratio for the period ended 30 June 2018 of 73.8% (30 June 2017: 73.4%), better than the target range of between 75% and 79%, despite the claims impact from adverse weather experienced in the first quarter.
Continued reduction in net debt leverage multiple to 1.1x adjusted operating profit at 30 June 2018 (31 December 2017: 1.4x) and achieved target level of around 1.0x during the six months to 30 June 2018.
Diversification of debt structure with a successful 7 year £250m investment grade senior bond issue, replacing funds drawn under the Revolving Credit Facility and providing longer term financing and protection from interest rate increases.
Strong solvency position, with a Solvency II coverage ratio of 171% (31 December 2017: 167%).
Significant increase in free cash generated, up £42.0m to £107.8m for the six months to 30 June 2018 (30 June 2017: £65.8m).
Interim dividend for 2018 of 4.5p per share (30 June 2017: 4.1p per share), 10% higher than last year. Achieving the leverage target in the period allows a move towards a policy of increasing distributions to shareholders over time.