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OUTsurance optimistic about Irish expansion, looks to shed OUTvest

OUTsurance optimistic about Irish expansion, looks to shed OUTvest
(Image: Unsplash / Matthew Hamilton | Wikimedia)

Marthinus Visser, the chief executive officer of OUTsurance Holdings, says Ireland’s motor and home insurance market is a strong strategic fit for the group.

OUTsurance shareholders were notified on Wednesday that the group’s disposal of Hastings, settlement of preference share debt in December 2021, and unbundling of its interests in Discovery and Momentum Metropolitan Holdings in April 2022, had significantly changed the group’s earnings base.

However, management is optimistic that the proposed expansion to Ireland presents an exciting opportunity for diversified long-term growth. If the authorisation process is successful, the OUTsurance Group expects to achieve market entry in Ireland during the second half of the 2024 financial year. 

Marthinus Visser, the chief executive officer of OUTsurance Holdings, says Ireland’s motor and home insurance market is a strong strategic fit for the group, with a growing insurance market, favourable distribution dynamics, historic market profitability and a familiar regulatory environment. The market entry is subject to obtaining a non-life insurance licence from the Central Bank of Ireland.

For the year to June 2023, the company’s performance was positively affected by a significant increase in Youi’s earnings. Youi is the short-term insurance arm based in Australia and the positive outcome was attributed to strong premium growth, a material decrease in natural perils claims incurred following more favourable weather exposure, and higher investment income, attributed to the rising interest rate environment. 

At the beginning of June, the Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates by 25 percentage points to an 11-year high of 4.1% and signalled that further rate hikes loom on the horizon.

Following a strategic review of its investment subsidiary, OUTvest, which remains a subscale business, the group has decided to consider a restructuring of OUTvest which includes the possibility of a disposal. However, client investments will not be affected by this decision. All client obligations will continue to be honoured without operational disruption. DM

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