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Sabre predicts strong annual result as volumes pick up

Fri 14 May 2021 07:30 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Sabre Insurance said first-quarter volumes were in line with expectations and that volumes in April were higher than a year earlier.

The motor insurance underwriter predicted a strong result for the year and an attractive annual dividend.

Gross written premiums fell to £46m in the four months to April from £54.6m a year earlier, the FTSE 250 group said. Business was affected by low sales of new cars, depressed numbers of new drivers during the pandemic and tough competition.

Sabre said it was too early to talk about meaningful increases in quote volumes but that in April premiums were 14.6% higher than a year earlier. The weekly run rate rose towards the end of April and into May.

The company said it concentrated on profitability over volume and that its price increases were materially ahead of the market. A pricing review by the Financial Conduct Authority, changes to injury claims and continuing claims inflation will prompt some competitors to make big price increases, Sabre said.

Geoff Carter, Sabre's chief executive, said: "Volumes through Q1 were in line with our expectations, during which we continued to execute our strategy of focusing on profitability over volume. While we are still in the very early stages of an easing in the lockdown restrictions, through April we have started to see some increase in our premium levels, and the policy count has enjoyed modest growth.

"Our claims performance and organic capital generation was strong, and we remain confident of providing an attractive dividend for the year, possibly through the utilisation of our robust capital range. While short term visibility remains limited, we remain confident that our agility and tried-and-tested strategy will deliver a strong result for the year."

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