Belfast Telegraph

Company Report

Prestige Insurance

John Simpson

By John Simpson

Prestige Insurance Holdings is a group of insurance-related businesses registered in Carrickfergus, where it has been trading since 2008. Prior to the registration of this company, Prestige Underwriting Services was trading successfully and later became a wholly owned subsidiary of this company.

The principal activities of the group are described as acting as an underwriting agent, insurance broking and the development and sale of software products.

The group has recently enjoyed a consistent level of annual turnover which, in the most recent year, increased by 33% to reach £43.7m. Operating profits fell two and three years ago, but recovered in the year to March 2017.

Some of the recent year-to-year variations in profitability can be attributed to one-off or exceptional items. Operating profits in the year to March 2016 were stated after a charge of £1.1m attributed to restructuring. Higher pre-tax profits in the most recent year are shown after including a profit accruing after the disposal of a subsidiary business added £6.4m to the year-end figure.

In the three years under review, only in the year to March 2016 did the group pay a dividend to shareholders of £1m.

A feature of the business balance sheet is the capitalisation of intangible assets recorded in March 2017 as £39m and being amortised over estimated economic lives of up to 20 years.

The annual accounts each year report on levels of activity in acquiring and selling subsidiary businesses. In the year to March 2017, disposals raised £5.6m and consideration for acquisitions cost £11.1m.

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In 2017, goodwill amortisation charges deducted £3.6m from the profit and loss account.

At the end of the trading year, there were nine trading subsidiaries in the group.

The operating costs show that direct staff costs last year were £16.7m. In comparison, amounts paid to sub-agent insurance brokers was £14m.

The average number of staff in the group in 2016-17 was 572. This was an increase of 29% in the last year. Previously, the highest employment level recorded was of 568 people in 2009.

Belfast Telegraph