Ecclesiastical Insurance announces 2018 results

Mark Hews and Caroline Taplin 2

Ecclesiastical Insurance, the Gloucester-headquartered specialist financial services group, has revealed its full year 2018 results.

The company reports strong underwriting profit of £29.2m (2017: £27.1m). This is the fifth consecutive year of growth in underwriting profit, which has benefited from favourable development of prior year claims on the Group’s liability business and improvements in current year performance.

However, it has reported reduced investment returns of £4.0m (2017: £72.3m), reflecting the downturn in equity markets in 2018 and reduced profit before tax of £15.4m (2017: £82.2m)

£18.8m was donated to good causes during 2018. the Group has now reached £64m towards its target of £100m in charitable donations by the end of 2020.

Mark Hews, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecclesiastical, said: “In 2018 we delivered a fifth year of sound underlying financial performance, underpinned by our focus on delivering sustainable, profitable long-term growth through our disciplined underwriting approach. We saw gross written premium (GWP) growth across all our territories, thanks to a number of new business wins and high retention rates across our businesses.”

Mark acknowledged that pre-tax profits were lower than in recent years, which he said reflecting the effect of short-term stock market fluctuations on our investment portfolio. “We continue to take a long-term view of the market and have benefited from strong investment returns in recent years and have seen a more positive start to 2019 in investment markets.”
Last month Ecclesiastical announced plans to move to a purpose-built head office on Gloucester Business Park from its current city centre headquarters.
Ecclesiastical CGI for Gloucester business Park
This announcement came after more than a decade of hunting for a suitable location to house the expanding company, after plans to build an iconic headquarters in the City’s regenerated docks failed during the financial crisis.
The Group has a new chairman, following John Hylands stepping down from the post after two years in the post. David Henderson, who has been on the Board since 2016, has taken on the role.