Turnaround sees NFU Mutual back in profit

NFU Mutual made a £676m group pre-tax profit in the 2019 calendar year, which the insurer describes in its annual report as a challenging one. 

This was a turnaround of £1.052bn, compared with the previous year’s pre-tax loss of £376m.

Income from general insurance rose 5% in 2019 to almost £1.65bn, while life premiums income was down 12% to just over £60m.

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Total funds under management in 2019 rose to £20.8bn compared with £18.9bn in 2018.

During 2020, the group will pay out £250m in mutual bonus payments to customers, rewarding them with varying amounts depending on the number of years over which they renew their policies.

About half of the organisation’s general insurance premium income now comes from non-farming sources.

Financial market uncertainty

The report acknowledges the considerable uncertainty in financial markets, but says NFU Mutual has a strong balance sheet and solvency and is well positioned to face into further future uncertainty.

Growing risks for many businesses are reflected in a longer list of principal risks and uncertainties than for the previous year, listed in the report as required by company law.

Coronavirus risk

First on NFU Mutual’s lists of risks and uncertainties is the effect of coronavirus, which occurred after the end of the accounting year in question.

The report states that the virus could impact profitability to such an extent that the viability of the business is threatened, primarily as a result of lower asset values, driven by the fall in financial markets.

Climate change and the market and general uncertainty caused by the UK’s exit from the EU are listed as further principal risks.

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