- Insurance group Hastings said it had agreed to a bid from Sampo and Rand Merchant Investment of 250p per share for the shares they did not already own.

The offer would be subject to shareholder approval and the receipt of regulatory and anti-trust approvals, the company said.

Sampo and RMI held a stake of about 29.7% in Hastings.

The company also reported higher first-half profit as a rise in premiums and an improved loss ratio offset the impact of claims inflation owing to the pandemic.

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, pre-tax profit rose to £63.5m from £46.1m on-year as gross written premiums rose 3% to £514.9m.

The calendar year loss ratio decreased to 75.6% from 81.1% owing to a reduction of claims frequencies resulting from the government lockdown.

But claim severities continued to increase predominantly as a result of 'the underlying inflation in repair costs, combined with interruptions in the repair networks and supply of parts caused by Covid-19 and increased car rental costs, with repairs typically taking longer than anticipated,' the company said.

The interim dividend proposed of 4.5p per share, was unchanged from last year.

Looking ahead, the company said trading and claims trends 'will continue to be monitored closely in line with the development of the Covid-19 pandemic.'

At 8:00am: [LON:HSTG] Hastings Group Holdings PLC share price was +11p at 226p

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