RSA Insurance Group, the subject of an abandoned takeover bid by Zurich Insurance Group, said operating profit rose 43 per cent last year after record underwriting profits.
Operating profit climbed to £523 million from £365 million a year ago, the London-based insurer said in a statement.
Group underwriting profit rose to £220 million from £41 million year earlier.
“We are today increasing our annual gross cost savings target to over 350 million pounds by 2018 and raising our underlying return on tangible equity expectation to the upper half of our 12 to 15 percent target range by 2017 with further improvement to come thereafter,” chief executive officer Stephen Hester said in the statement.
“We expect challenging markets and to rely on self-help to progress. “ RSA received a £5.6 billion offer from Zurich Insurance in August.
RSA’s Irish premiums fell by 4 per cent on a constant currency basis to £261 million.
Its Irish underwriting loss of £35m million in 2015 compares with a £108 million loss in 2014.
The stock slumped when the Swiss firm was forced to walk away from the deal after reporting losses at its own general insurance unit.
A takeover would have capped a tumultuous two-year period for RSA, after an accounting scandal in Ireland led to Simon Lee’s departure as CEO, a stock sale and a spate of asset disposals.
Mr Hester, hired in 2014 to clean up RSA’s balance sheet, said in September he expects the company could attract more suitors.
The company announced the sale of its entire 75 per cent stake in RSA Russia to Blagosostoyanie in December.
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