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Esure Group plc Looking Strong To Meet Expectations

esure Group (LSE: ESUR), the insurance underwriter predominantly known for the esure and Sheilas’ Wheels brands, released its interim management statement for the nine months to 30 September 2013.

Gross written premiums year-to-date were up 4.8% to £427.0m with motor up 4.8% and home up 4.2%.  Total in-force policies at 30 September stood at 1.906m, a rise of 8.4%.  Additional services revenue was up just 0.4% for the year-to-date at £79.3m.

Stuart Vann, Chief Executive Officer of esure Group plc, commented:

“We continue to focus on disciplined underwriting and maintaining our high customer retention rates. This is particularly reflected in the Sheilas’ Wheels book where our customers continue to see the benefits from gender-neutral pricing. We also continued cautiously to re-enter certain segments of the motor market that we exited between 2009 and 2011. ASR excluding Claims Income has grown proportionately in line with the growth in policy count and I am pleased with the initial performance of the “Just in Case” product that we launched during August. We remain on track to meet market expectations for the full year.”

Motor premiums were up 1.8% in Q3, reflecting esure Group’s decision to maintain pricing and underwriting discipline despite continuing tough market conditions. The Group has focused on retaining existing customers, with an improvement in the overall retention rate compared to Q3 2012.

The Group continues to take a cautious and conservative approach to growth in those segments of the UK motor market from which it withdrew during the personal injury phenomenon. As was indicated at the interim results in August, it is still too soon to judge the full impact of the civil justice reforms and LASPO2, and the Group will continue to monitor developments.

The market has reacted well to the news with a 5% jump in the share price in early trading.  This is in contrast with the past year, which has seen esure’s share price fall by 27% in a bullish market. 

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> Barry does not own shares in esure Group.