Mapfre Middlesea plc - Half-Year Results

On 5 August, Middlesea Insurance plc published its 2011 interim results. Middlesea explained that during the first half of 2011 the Group registered a profit before tax of €1.6 million compared to €3.4 million registered in the comparable period last year. The insurance company stated that this variance in profit is the result of an improvement in the pure technical insurance operations which however did not compensate for the adverse impact arising from the negative results on the Group’s investment portfolio and a reduced share of profit from the associated undertaking MSV Life plc.

During the first six months of the year, the Middlesea Group continued to focus on local operations and generated a 28.5% increase in its technical results to €1.7 million. The Group said that all business is being generated from Malta following the termination of underwriting in Gibraltar as from 1 January 2011. During the first half of the year, the Company registered a 2.3% increase in general premiums when compared to last year. However life premiums fell by €0.72 million mainly due to a timing difference on specific policy accounts.

The Middlesea Insurance Group stated that the continuing decline on the Malta Stock Exchange and the overall negative sentiment on the foreign financial markets during the second quarter of the year has also adversely impacted these results. In fact, net investment expenses amounted to €0.375 million when compared to a favourable return on the investment portfolio during the first six months of last year.

Moreover, the share of profits from MSV Life plc plunged from €2.6 million last year to €0.9 million. The Group explained that although the positive performance in premium of MSV Life plc was sustained, it was difficult to repeat the record premium levels registered last year. Moreover, the investment return of MSV Life plc was also adversely impacted by the overall negative performance of the local and foreign markets.

The Middlesea Group explained that its main focus remains that of improving the company’s and Group’s current leading position in the local insurance market through the provision of a range of innovative products. The Group also stated that following the improved technical results and reasonable profits achieved during the first half of the year, it now looks forward to the second half of 2011 with cautious optimism as it seeks to provide improved and sustainable results in a market which is inherently cyclical and which deals with insurable risks.

Similar to last year, the Directors did not declare an interim dividend.

Earlier on Middlesea announced the appointment of Alfredo Munoz Perez as the CEO of the company.