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Esure chief executive Stuart Vann declared the FTSE 250 insurance group is “in full growth mode” after beating targets for premium growth in 2016, driven by strong growth in its motor insurance business.

An 8.6 per cent increase in in-force policies helped gross written premiums and pre-tax profits to climb by 19 per cent each, to £655m and £72.7m respectively. The increase in premiums was ahead of the company’s already-increased expectations, and at the top end of analyst forecasts.

Underlying profit after tax, the company’s preferred measure of performance, increased 18 per cent to £80.5m, and the company said it confident of achieving similar rates of revenue and policyu growth this year.

Esure’s positivity comes despite changes to the rules governing compensation for serious injuries, which have hit profits and dividend payouts at a number of its peers.

The company said it was “mindful” of the impact the changes could have on customer premiums, but it did not adjust its profits for the impact of the move. Esure said its “low risk approach” to underwriting and conservative reinsurance programme limited its exposure to the changes, leaving it “well placed within the market compared to our peers”.

Stuart Vann, Esure chief executive, said:

We are now in full growth mode. In 2016 we have delivered strong growth in premiums and profitability, nad have provided more quotes to a wider number of customers through our footprint expansion programme. This gives us great confidence to deliver our ambition of 3 million in-force policies by 2020.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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