Lancashire swings to a surprise profit; Dunelm resumes dividend

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
February 10, 2021
  • Lancashire swings to a surprise £4.27 million profit in fiscal 2020.
  • The insurer generates a 3.9% return from its investment portfolio.
  • Dunelm Group declares 12 pence per share of interim dividend.

Lancashire Holdings Limited (LON: LRE) said on Wednesday that it swung to a surprise profit in fiscal 2020. The company said that it faced roughly £108.44 million of losses attributed to natural catastrophes and the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, but these losses were completely offset by its investment portfolio that recovered sharply in recent months.

Lancashire jumped close to 2.5% on market open on Wednesday. Including the price action, the stock is now exchanging hands at 761 pence per share after recovering from a low of 528 pence per share in March 2020 when the COVID-19 crisis was at its peak. If you want to invest in the stock market online, you will need a reliable stockbroker – here’s a list of the top few to make selection easier for you.

Lancashire generates a 3.9% return from its investment portfolio

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The insurance company reported £4.27 million of pre-tax profit in the year that concluded on 31st December. In comparison, its pre-tax profit stood at a significantly higher £86.39 million last year. Analysts, however, had called for 11.57 million of loss for Lancashire in fiscal 2020.

The Bermuda-based firm saw a 3.9% return from its investment portfolio, representing considerable recovery from COVID-19 driven market volatility earlier in the recent year. CEO Alex Maloney commented on the financial update on Wednesday and said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the whole insurance industry as a loss event. I am pleased that Lancashire’s approach to reserving for COVID-19 losses has remained consistent throughout the year, albeit uncertainty still remains as this is an ongoing event.”

At £588.53 million, Lancashire’s gross written premiums jumped 15.2% in fiscal 2020. Its combined ratio came in at 107.8% compared to a much lower 80.9% in the previous financial year.

Dunelm Group declares 12 pence per share of interim dividend

In separate news from the United Kingdom, Dunelm Group plc on Wednesday resumed its interim dividend as pre-tax profit jumped to £112.4 million in the fiscal first half that translates to a 34.4% annualised growth.

The homeware retailer attributed its hawkish performance in H1 to robust online demand amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Dunelm declared 12 pence per share of interim dividend on Wednesday.

Dunelm shares (LON: DNLM) opened about 2.5% up on Wednesday and gained another 3.5% in the next hour. At the time of writing, the Syston-based company is valued at £2.64 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 30.37.