COLUMBUS, Ohio -- August 22, 2005 -- On August 20, 2005, the board of directors of State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STFC) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.09 per share, payable September 30, 2005, to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 15, 2005.
The dividend announced today represents a 100% increase from the previous annual rate and is the 14th straight annual dividend increase declared by STFC. This is also the 57th consecutive quarterly cash dividend declared by the company's board since STFC had its initial public offering of common stock on June 28, 1991.
"State Auto Financial has successfully executed a disciplined corporate strategy for more than fourteen years, allowing us to produce outstanding results through various market cycles. Shareholder value has increased robustly during that same timeframe. The dividend increase we announce today is an integral part of our overall capital management strategy and conveys our continued confidence in STFC going forward," said STFC Chairman and CEO Bob Moone.
State Auto Financial Corporation, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a regional property and casualty insurance holding company engaged primarily in writing both personal and commercial lines of insurance. The company currently markets its products through more than 22,000 independent insurance agents associated with nearly 3,200 agencies in 26 central and eastern states, excluding New York, New Jersey and the New England states. The company is included in the 2005 Forbes Magazine's Platinum 400 list of the best-managed companies in America and is one of only 314 publicly traded companies to earn the Mergent Award for having increased its dividends for ten or more years in succession. The State Auto Insurance Companies are rated A+ (Superior) by the A.M. Best Company. Additional information on the company can be found on its web page at www.STFC.com.
Except for historical information, all other information in this news release consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. The most significant of these uncertainties are described in State Auto Financial's Form 10-K and Form 10-Q reports and exhibits to those reports, and include (but are not limited to) legislative changes at both the state and federal level, state and federal regulatory rule making promulgations and adjudications, class action litigation involving the insurance industry and judicial decisions affecting claims, policy coverages and the general costs of doing business, the impact of competition on products and pricing, inflation in the costs of the products and services insurance pays for, product development, geographic spread of risk, weather-related events, and other types of catastrophic events. State Auto Financial undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.