There are certain circumstances in which it is, of course, perfectly acceptable to allude to the fact that everyone in the motor market has gone slightly insane over the so-called “LASPO windfall”. Circumstances in which such comments tend to go down less well, however, include when publicly traded insurance companies are announcing their results.

Speaking to Post Magazine this week, Ade Webb, comms director with recently floated Esure Group (the firm responsible for the dreaded Sheila’s Wheels) professed himself mystified at the market’s negative reaction to interim results showing premium income up a bit, combined ratio down a bit, and profits of £60m odd. How could that possibly lead to an 18% drop in share price?

Could it perhaps have been those alarming references to widespread discounting in the motor market? Was it ominous comments like “In the light of current conditions, the group now expects full year premium growth to be lower than that achieved in the first half of the year.” Who knows, but mystifying it certainly is.

Or maybe it was just that an interim dividend of 2.5p seemed a bit stingy.

Either way, perhaps Esure should simply advise shareholders and analysts to Calm Down, Dear! (TM)



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