May 10, 2018 / 6:26 AM / 9 months ago

RSA net written premiums rise 2 pct, bad weather hits profit

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) - Insurer RSA posted a two percent rise in net written premiums in the first quarter to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.03 billion), helped by a shift in customer focus, but poor weather hit profits, it said on Thursday.

RSA did not give profit numbers in its first-quarter statement, but said that underlying profits were lower than a year earlier due to “elevated winter weather costs being not fully offset by other improvements”.

RSA, best known in Britain for its More Than brand, also has major businesses in Canada, Ireland and Scandinavia.

“We are happy with RSA’s progress at this early stage of the year,” Chief Executive Stephen Hester said.

“The underlying business is tracking consistent with our ambitions overall, whilst winter weather volatility is a normal part of our business.”

Net written premiums got a boost from a move away from business where profitability was threatened, RSA said.

Tangible shareholders’ equity edged up at March 31 to 2.79 billion pounds from 2.77 billion at end-December.

$1 = 0.7375 pounds Reporting by Carolyn Cohn, Editing by Lawrence White

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