- Insurance provider Hastings reported Thursday a modest uptick in profits despite downward pressure on average market premiums during the year.

For the 12 months to 31 December, pre-tax profits rose to £152.9m from £149.0m and gross written premiums rose 3% to £958.3m.

Live customer policies rose 2.5% to 2.71m for year, up from 2.64m last year.

The loss ratio of 75.0% for the year, was at the bottom end of the target range of 75% to 79%, but higher than the 73% seen last year due to 'adverse weather in the first quarter and claims inflation being higher than premium inflation,' the company said.

The company proposed a final dividend of 9.0p per share, which, together with the interim dividend, represented a 7% increase from last year.

'The Group's outlook and guidance for the full year 2019 is unchanged. The Board remains confident in the Group's profitable growth opportunities driven by its competitive advantages of agile pricing, anti-fraud capabilities and digital distribution,' said the company said.

At 9:51am: [LON:HSTG] Hastings Group Holdings Plc share price was +0.8p at 219.8p

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