FBD rises despite Brexit fears and personal injury claim outlook

Shares in FBD rose strongly despite the insurer telling investors the impact of Brexit remains "a major source of uncertainty" for the company.

Chairman Liam Herlihy told shareholders at FBD's agm that the group's trading performance has been "good" since the turn of the year.

"The underlying profitability of the business is sound as we maintain our underwriting and pricing discipline in the face of continuing strong competition. Weather in the year to date has been benign with no significant events occurring," he said.

When reporting a flat set of annual results, in February, FBD's chief executive Fiona Muldoon said a no-deal Brexit would be the single biggest headwind facing the group's performance this year; calling the unknowns surrounding Britain leaving the EU "an uncertainty we could do without".

Mr Herlihy reiterated that stance at the agm, saying: "Brexit, and its likely impact, remains a major source of uncertainty for FBD, Irish farmers and Irish businesses. We continue to plan for any operational impacts which may arise and we will continue to support our customers through this transition."

FBD's share price - down around 14% in the past 12 months - rose by nearly 2.3% to just over €9 on the back of the agm statement. Analysts remained upbeat, Goodbody suggesting investors would be "comforted" by the update and reiterating its full-year price target, of €12.60, for the FBD stock.

Davy welcomed the update but said the cost of personal injury claims - a major problem facing insurers - is unlikely to fall soon and remains significantly elevated compared to other countries.

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