“The Group’s performance in 2022 illustrates the strengths of the Group’s strategy. The long-term nature of our proposition provides good outcomes to our policyholders through market cycles, encouraging strong client retention. The Group remains well placed to capitalise on its strong market position and deliver against its longer-term ambitions.”
Paul Thompson, Group CEO
Today, Utmost Group plc (“UGP”) has announced its results for the year to 31 December 2022.
- Strong Set of Results against a Volatile Backdrop: The strength of the Group is evidenced through the consistency of its financial and operating performance through the uncertain environment over the year
- The Group’s balance sheet is strong and resilient with Own Funds of £1,900m (YE 2021: £1,964m) and a Solvency Coverage Ratio of 191% (YE 2021: 177%), enabling us to provide a high level of security to our clients
- Capital Raise: The Group issued £300m listed Restricted Tier 1 (“RT1”) notes in January 2022 at a coupon of 6.125%
- In June 2022, Fitch Ratings upgraded the Group’s Issuer Default Rating to ‘A-‘ from ‘BBB+’. The Group’s Tier 2 (“T2”) notes were upgraded to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BB+’ and its RT1 notes were upgraded to ‘BB+’ from ‘BB’
- The upgrade reflects the credit strengths of the Group including its prudent capital structure. At YE 2022, Gross Solvency II Economic Value (“SII EV”) leverage ratio was 28% and Fitch Financial Leverage Ratio (“FLR”) was 23%, post the £500m dividend paid by UGP to its shareholder during 2022
- Quilter International Integration: The programme of work has progressed well, with a number of workstreams complete and the remainder on-track against the initial plan
- The portfolio transfers in Ireland and in the Isle of Man were implemented in October 2022 and November 2022 respectively, enabling the Group to maintain a single insurance entity in each jurisdiction, in line with its strategic vision
- The activity to rebrand the Quilter International business to Utmost International completed in October 2022. All our International activity is now operated under the Utmost brand
- Investing for the Future: The Group is investing in upgrading its core technology platforms. Our core policy administration systems in the Isle of Man and Ireland are being enhanced and updated to ensure that they remain robust and scalable
- Cyber security has been a focus of the Board through the year. Our technology teams have focused on enhancing our security measures to protect our policyholders’ data and ensure uninterrupted service delivery
- During the year, Utmost Life and Pensions new Online Service Centre, MyUtmost, was launched. The platform enables customers to view policy values, communicate and transact online. The platform has been well received and is delivering efficiencies to both our policyholders, their advisers and to the Group
Commenting on the results, Paul Thompson, Group CEO, said:
“The Group performed strongly in 2022 despite the difficult macroeconomic environment and volatile investment markets. Financial performance was strong and new business was resilient against a difficult backdrop.
“I am pleased with the progress made on the integration programme in 2022. The programme has progressed well, with a number of workstreams complete and the remainder on-track against our initial plan.
“Longer-term sectoral trends are supportive of our continued business growth, with increasing demand for robust, transparent investment and savings products. Utmost Group remains well placed to capitalise on our existing strong market position and foresees continued opportunities for acquisition-led growth.”
Please read the full RNS here