British insurer Hastings profit up on higher customer addition

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(Reuters) - Hastings Group Holdings Plc reported a 2.6 percent rise in 2018 profit, as higher customer addition helped the insurer battle a dip in cost of motor insurance policies in Britain last year.

Hastings, which kicks off the earnings season for motor insurers with RSA Insurance Group Plc, said profit before tax rose to 152.9 million pounds for the year ended Dec. 31 from 149 million pounds a year earlier.

Gross written premiums rose 3 percent to 958.3 million pounds for the year, said the FTSE 250 company, which operates mainly in the motor insurance market.

(Reporting by Muvija M and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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