January 17, 2020 / 7:24 AM / a month ago

Hastings sees profit drop, lowers dividend amid steep repair costs

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Motor insurer Hastings on Friday said it expects a steep drop in annual earnings because of high claims costs in the final quarter and plans to lower its 2019 dividend, citing a challenging market environment.

Hastings expects 2019 loss ratio - the amount it spends on claims compared to how much it earns on premiums - to be in the range of 81%-82% before the impact of the July Ogden rate change and adjusted operating profit around 110 million pounds ($143.89 million). It reported adjusted operating profit of 190.6 million pounds in 2018. ($1 = 0.7645 pounds) (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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