31 July 2018

Sales soar as group makes major tech investment

We’re delighted to report Principal Insurance has booked a 63% increase in turnover for the 2016-17 financial year, following strong organic growth across all our main lines of business.

Gross written premium (GWP) for the year rose by 50% to exceed £15 million. This was driven by growth not just across our core motorcycle and van insurance business but our fast-expanding specialist motor, commercial insurance and Dublin operations.

These all secured double-digit growth with the Dublin division now claiming an estimated 20 percent share of the Irish motorcycle insurance market.

Our new headquarters in Sale, Manchester.

Operating profits of £15,000 (£327,000) were subdued by a £200,000 investment in software and trading systems, relocation of our Manchester HQ and a significant increase in payroll at all levels of the business.

Investment for growth

We more than doubled our staff from 30 to 80 during the year and now employ 130 people in Manchester, at our Lancaster-based specialist car and motorhome division and Dublin offices.

principal investment storyCommenting on the group’s performance, executive chairman Damian Keeling (left) said:

“We are very pleased to have again delivered substantial growth in line with our business plan. This pattern has been maintained as we continue to benefit from a significant expansion in our current financial year.

“It’s gratifying too to already be seeing returns on what has been a major reinvestment of profits in talent and technology.

 

“We were able to wring the very most out of a near £200,000 investment in IT by primarily exploiting in-house expertise in developing new software and trading systems.

“This means that the group can now be much more agile and responsive to changing market conditions, with the ability to swiftly devise and promote products that address specific customer requirements in the niches in which we operate.”

Fit for the future

He added that we will continue to invest in systems development which is seen as the group’s highest priority, with staff numbers unlikely to significantly increase in the short term.

“The investments we have made and those we plan to make will ensure Principal is fit for the future.

“From here on in our focus will be on investing in and finessing systems and processes to ensure that first class team we have assembled across all our operations can delivered further solid growth over the next few years.

“This is all about being a truly smart business.”

Planned developments

Planned developments include further integration of industry-wide databases such as those relating to driving licences, no claims bonuses and claims histories.

This will assist us in delivering best value quotes and supporting anti-fraud initiatives championed by the Financial Conduct Authority and British Insurance Brokers Association.

Currently the group Principal serves nearly 50,000 policyholders but our investment programme is designed to  ensure we can efficiently and effectively administer in excess of 100,000 policies.

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