By Chris Vellacott
LONDON (Reuters) - Troubled British insurer RSA launched a plan to boost capital by up to 1.6 billion pounds, half of which will be tapped from shareholders and the rest from disposals and money saved from a dividend cut.
The plan was announced on Thursday as the company unveiled a 244 million pound ($406 million) pre-tax loss for 2013 after having to address an accounting scandal at its Irish arm and suffering weather-related losses.
"RSA's 2013 results are poor and we need to grasp the nettles of both underperformance and under-capitalisation," the group's troubleshooting new Chief Executive Stephen Hester said.
The group, best known in Britain for its More Than home and motor insurance brand, said it planned to launch a rights issue aiming to raise around 775 million pounds ($1.29 billion), details of which will be announced next month.
In a statement on Thursday outlining the conclusions of a strategic review launched last year when the troubles at its Irish arm emerged, RSA said it has already started making disposals, targeting around 300 million pounds in 2014.
Hester said on a conference call that more sales could follow in 2015.
The rest of the capital raised will come from retained earnings and the company said that "the impact of 2013 results means (a) final dividend cannot be justified."
(Reporting by Chris Vellacott; Editing by John Stonestreet)