GROUP CEO’S COMMENT
Sampo Group is pleased to report strong results for the third quarter of 2020. The largest profit contributor, If P&C, continued to deliver an excellent underwriting performance combined with healthy top-line growth above 5 per cent. In addition, investment results were supported by the capital market developments. The markets continued to be backed by policymakers and central banks, and the good liquidity together with the strong risk appetite led asset prices to recover towards the pre-COVID-19 levels.
Encouragingly, Nordea produced a solid set of numbers and increased both its efficiency and market shares. The bank exceeded investor expectations on virtually all lines and remains committed to meeting the financial targets 2022. Nordea’s strong financial position also means that it is well-placed to pay out dividends. The bank intends to pay a dividend for the financial year 2019, given necessary regulatory approvals.
In addition to Nordea’s dividend statement, I received confirmation this week that If P&C has decided to distribute a dividend of SEK 6,300 million in December of this year. Topdanmark has also repeated its earlier commitment to pay the remainder of its 2019 dividend and with Mandatum having a very solid solvency position, I am confident that Sampo will have no cash flow issues as regards distributing a dividend in the spring in accordance with the dividend policy.
I am pleased to report that the recommended cash offer to acquire Hastings Group Holdings Plc, which Sampo made together with RMI on 5 August 2020, is proceeding according to plan. The offer was approved by the requisite majorities of Hastings’ shareholders on 29 September 2020. Furthermore, all of the regulatory and antitrust approvals have been received. We look forward to welcoming Hastings to the Group following the Court Hearing, which is expected to be held on 13 November 2020.
In closing, in spite of the turbulent times, Sampo Group has made steady progress throughout 2020, both from an operational and strategic perspective. To this end, we plan to give a full presentation of our strategy during our next Capital Market Day which is scheduled to be held on 24 February 2021. I sincerely hope that the COVID-19 situation will have eased enough by then for us to be able to meet in person.
Torbjörn Magnusson, Group CEO and President