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British insurer RSA profit rises ahead of takeover

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British insurer RSA profit rises ahead of takeover 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British insurer RSA’s 2020 operating profit rose 15% to 751 million pounds ($1.05 billion), it said on Friday, ahead of an anticipated takeover by Denmark’s Tryg and Canada’s Intact Financial.

The car, home and commercial insurer said strong underwriting discipline had helped its performance.

RSA started life in 1706 and is best known in Britain for its “More Than” brand. It also has major businesses in Canada, Ireland and Scandinavia.

The 7.2 billion pound takeover is expected to complete in the second quarter, RSA said.

Intact will gain RSA’s Canada, UK and international operations while Tryg will take the Sweden and Norway businesses. The pair will co-own RSA’s Danish unit.

RSA said there was a net COVID-19 impact of 42 million pounds on operating profit from premiums, claims and investment income.

“RSA’s results had to be achieved despite a drag on profits from COVID-19, as well as coping with the many other severe challenges it posed – to capital and operations, and most

especially to customer service,” said Chief Executive Stephen Hester.

Hester, who joined RSA as CEO in 2014, is due to step down after the deal completes.

($1 = 0.7179 pounds)

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)

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