Helios Underwriting — Healthy FY23 beat supports strong outlook

Helios Underwriting (AIM: HUW)

Last close As at 24/06/2024

GBP1.67

0.00 (0.00%)

Market capitalisation

GBP125m

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Research: Financials

Helios Underwriting — Healthy FY23 beat supports strong outlook

Helios Underwriting (Helios) delivered a strong EPS recovery in FY23 from a loss of 3.1p in FY22 to a profit of 21.6p, 50% ahead of our forecast of 14.7p, driven by super syndicate underwriting profit of £31.6m versus £0.1m in FY22 and a combined ratio of 86%. Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s) capacity at year-end was accelerated to £507m relative to our expectation of £502m, with retained capacity of £392m also ahead. Net asset value (NAV) increased from 151p/share to 189p/share, slightly ahead of our forecast of 187p/share. The dividend doubled from 3p/share to 6p/share as expected. Our forecasts and valuation are under review.

Marius Strydom

Written by

Marius Strydom

Analyst

Financials

Helios Underwriting

Healthy FY23 beat supports strong outlook

FY23 results

Insurance

30 May 2024

Price

173p

Market cap

£129m

Net cash (£m) at 31 December 2023

7.8

Shares in issue

74.8m

Free float

46.4%

Code

HUW

Primary exchange

AIM

Secondary exchange

N/A

Share price performance

Business description

Helios Underwriting was established in 2007 (as Hampden Underwriting), primarily to provide investors with a limited liability direct investment into the Lloyd’s insurance market. It is an AIM-quoted holding company, providing underwriting exposure across a diversified portfolio of selected Lloyd’s syndicates.

Analyst

Marius Strydom

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

Helios Underwriting is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

Helios Underwriting (Helios) delivered a strong EPS recovery in FY23 from a loss of 3.1p in FY22 to a profit of 21.6p, 50% ahead of our forecast of 14.7p, driven by super syndicate underwriting profit of £31.6m versus £0.1m in FY22 and a combined ratio of 86%. Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s) capacity at year-end was accelerated to £507m relative to our expectation of £502m, with retained capacity of £392m also ahead. Net asset value (NAV) increased from 151p/share to 189p/share, slightly ahead of our forecast of 187p/share. The dividend doubled from 3p/share to 6p/share as expected. Our forecasts and valuation are under review.

Year end

Revenue (£m)

PBT*

(£m)

EPS*
(p)

DPS
(p)

P/E
(x)

Yield
(%)

12/22**

148.3

(5.2)

(3.1)

3.0

N/A

2.3

12/23

212.9

22.1

21.6

6.0

6.0

4.7

12/24e

332.1

25.8

26.2

12.8

4.9

9.9

12/25e

441.9

37.0

37.6

18.4

3.4

14.3

Note: *PBT and EPS are normalised, excluding amortisation of acquired intangibles, exceptional items and share-based payments. **Restated due to IFRS to UK GAAP conversion, impacting goodwill amortisation.

Helios ended FY23 with £507m of capacity, up 71% on FY22 and slightly ahead of our forecast, which allowed for the delayed introduction of its innovative new mechanism to ‘rent’ up to £55m of capacity (see our April update note).

EPS of 21.6p represents a sharp turnaround from a (restated) loss of 3.1p and is 50% ahead of our 14.7p forecast, driven by super syndicate underwriting profit of £31.6m versus £0.1m and ahead of our forecast of £22.4m (with a combined ratio of 86% vs our forecast of 90%). This was driven by a much stronger-than-expected 2023 year of account (due to a benign catastrophe environment), delivering a return of capacity (RoC) of 1.9% versus the -0.2% we had forecast and the first positive current-year RoC seen since FY15.

NAV grew by 25% to 189p/share, slightly ahead of our forecast of 187p/share, largely driven by the share buyback programme reducing shares in issue more than we had allowed for.

Helios doubled its declared dividend from 3.0p to 6.0p in line with guidance. The company has stated that it will consider supplementing the basic dividend with special dividends based on performance and our (currently unchanged) forecasts are highly supportive of this in FY24 and FY25.

We note that over the year to 31 December 2023, Hudson Structured Capital Management reduced its holding in Helios from 16.2% to 11.2% and Odey Asset Management has dropped off the substantial shareholders list (from 9.9%). The overhangs due to these sell-offs had a meaningful impact on the Helios share price up until March 2024. We flag that further overhang risk remains.

While results are under review, we have made no changes to our EPS forecasts or our valuation of 280p/share as published in our 4 April NAV update note.

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by Helios Underwriting and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by Helios Underwriting. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2024 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by Helios Underwriting and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by Helios Underwriting. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2024 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

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