Insurer LV extends profits run

FloodingMutual insurance and savings group LV= has posted a record profits haul after shrugging off a £25 million hit from last year's adverse weather.

The Bournemouth-based group, which is the UK's largest friendly society, said it overcame a "challenging year" to report a 19% hike in underlying operating profits.
Its general insurance arm delivered a 53% leap in underlying earnings to £117.1 million in 2012 despite a surge in weather-related claims, which impacted profits by around £25 million, as well as increases in personal injury claims.

This saw underwriting profits slump to £5 million from £30 million in 2011, but this was offset by a more than doubling in investment returns thanks to the stock market recovery, while premium income also edged 2% higher to £1.49 billion last year.

The group, which serves over five million customers and has three million motor insurance policies, reported overall underlying group operating profits of £126.2 million for 2012.

It announced a record £20.9 million bonus for its 650,000 with profits members, which is up 12% on the year before and will be added to policies on payout.

Life and pensions earnings rose 7% to £26.3 million after a 15% increase in sales and a boost from buoyant financial markets.

Group chief executive Mike Rogers hailed an "excellent achievement" after five years in a row of increasing underlying profits.
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