(Alliance News) - Sabre Insurance Group PLC on Thursday warned full-year profit will be "moderately" below analyst forecasts.
Shares in the motor insurance provider were down 2.4% in London on Thursday at 190.40 pence each.
It expects pretax profit for 2021 will be "moderately below" the analyst forecast range of GBP41 million to GBP46 million "but with dividend levels supported by the strength of our capital position".
For 2020, Sabre recorded pretax profit of GBP49.1 million, down from GBP56.5 million in 2019.
Gross written premium for the nine months ending September 30 was GBP126.7 million, down from GBP139.2 million the year before. Net earned premiums in the same period dropped to GBP108.8 million from GBP127.3 million.
Sabre said a recovery in motor insurance pricing during the third quarter has been "slightly slower" than expected as Covid-related restrictions unwind.
It has maintained pricing discipline throughout extended soft market conditions. As a result, Sabre expects its combined operating ratio for 2021 to be at the upper end of its target 75% to 80% range.
Chief Executive Geoff Carter said: "Sabre has shown a great deal of resilience during recent challenging times, when our addressable market significantly and temporarily reduced in size. Whilst this has had an anticipated impact on our short-term financial performance, we are very confident about the medium-term and longer-term growth outlook. We are currently working through a number of growth initiatives that we will discuss further at the full year results.
"We are confident that these initiatives, combined with anticipated market pricing increases and an expansion in our addressable market, will deliver growth in FY22 and beyond. By taking the hard decisions to allow volumes to reduce during the recent, unprecedented period, we have maintained our core strengths and are very well positioned to benefit from these opportunities."
By Paul McGowan; firstname.lastname@example.org
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