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Chaucer pays out to shareholders

At a time when capital management has become increasingly important to insurance investors, Lloyd’s listed insurer Chaucer announced on Friday (19 November) it would increase dividends by around 10 percent a year from 2005 to 2008, matching its objective of “delivering optimum value to shareholders across the insurance cycle”.

In a statement, Chaucer said: “The Board believes that this objective is improved through a progressive dividend policy aligned to the capital requirements of the business.

Chaucer added that it intends to recommend a final dividend of 2p a share for the year ending 31 December 2004, a 48 percent increase on last year’s payout.

The company also updated forecasts for its managed syndicates for the 2002 and 2003 years of account. The 2002 year saw improvement on motor Syndicate 587 profit projections from a range of 16-20 percent to 19.5-24.5 percent on its £90.9mn capacity, while marine Syndicate 1084 marginally deteriorated from 11.5-16.5 percent to 10-15 percent of £82.4mn capacity. Non-marine Syndicate 1096 stayed at a profit of 17.5-22.5 percent on capacity of £148.4mn.

Syndicate 587 also saw a marginal improvement on its 2003 forecasts, from a profit of 10-15 percent of its £95.9mn capacity, to 11-16 percent. Syndicate 1084 was held at a projected profit of 7.5-15 percent on its £101.8mn capacity, as was nuclear Syndicate 1176 at its 30-37.5 profit forecast on £12.5mn capacity.

Syndicate 1096 deteriorated from a profit of 10-17.5 percent on £190mn of capacity, to 7-14.5 percent. The changed forecast was as a result of a third of Chaucer’s hurricane losses falling in the 2003 year.

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