The U.K.’s Brit Insurance Holdings PLC, a general insurance group and leading Lloyd’s underwriter, announced strong first half results, posting a £31 million ($51.15 million) pretax net profit, compared to a £4.3 million ($7.1 million) loss in the same period last year.
The company’s announcement also cited the following highlights:
— Basic earnings per share of 2.82p (30 June 2002: loss of 1.26p) [4.65 cents and 2.08 cents respectively]
— Group combined ratio of 89.2% (30 June 2002: 90.2%)
— Gross written premium increased by 67.7% to £666.2m (30 June 2002: £397.3m) [$1.1 billion and $655.5 million respectively]
— Strong growth in the key UK Commercial markets.
— Successful withdrawal from non-core businesses.
— Trading conditions remain favourable with a positive outlook.
Commenting on the results, Chairman Clive Coates stated “Brit has had a record first half and we are building real earnings momentum. We have seen further steady improvement in our combined ratio to its best ever level. We are excited about our future prospects.”
Brit’s strong performance is further evidence that Lloyd’s underwriters seem to be having an exceptional year. However, while hard market conditions have raised premiums in most lines, claims costs and operating expenses are still rising. Brit reported £73.329 million ($121 million) in net claims paid in the 1st half of 2003, compared to £46.566 ($77 million) in 1st half 2002, while net operating expenses rose to £84.991 million ($140 million) from £38.113 ($62.8 million).
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