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Insurer Liverpool Victoria bucks the trend

Profits doubled to £63m in 2008

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Mutual insurer Liverpool Victoria yesterday said annual profits had more than doubled after strong sales and acquisitions helped it ride out volatile markets.

The group, which trades as LV= and has become a major player in the car insurance sector, saw operating profits jump 128% to £62.8 million in 2008.

The turnaround comes just two years after the mutual posted losses. The group has pulled out of banking to focus on the general insurance market.

Chief executive Mike Rogers said the firm had no direct exposure to the collapse of the Icelandic banking system or sub-prime mortgages.

He added: “Trading has started well in 2009, with sales in the first two months strongly ahead of the same period last year, although investment markets remained volatile.”

Mutual insurer has a good capital position

The Bournemouth-based mutual also said it had retained its financial buffers despite the turbulence in global markets. The group currently holds more than twice the level of capital surplus required.

LV= has managed to absorb short-term investment hits – which pushed it to a bottom-line loss of £202 million – to retain significant shares in long-term growth assets, benefiting its members over a longer horizon.

Mr Rogers added: “Throughout a turbulent year our single-minded focus on helping our members and customers to look after what they love has held us in good stead.”

The mutual began life in 1843 as Liverpool Victoria but changed its brand to LV= in 2007. It now employs more than 3,800 people and manages around £7 billion on their behalf.

Use our car insurance Best Buys to see how Liverpool Victoria shapes up.

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