How we’re doing
In 2010 we achieved a profit of $250.8m maintaining our unbroken record of profitability.
|Gross premiums written||1,741.6||1,751.3||(1%)|
|Net premiums written||1,402.1||1,331.3||5%|
|Net earned premiums||1,405.2||1,313.6||7%|
|Net investment income||37.5||88.1||(57%)|
|Net insurance claims||738.2||742.6||(1%)|
|Foreign exchange (gain)/loss||(34.6)||34.4|
|Share of loss of associate||(0.9)|
|Profit before tax||250.8||158.1||59%|
Gross premiums written of $1,741.6m were down 1% from 2009. Underlying this we have seen growth in our reinsurance and life, accident and health divisions. Renewal rates have reduced by an average of 2% across the portfolio and we have continued to adjust our underwriting appetite in areas where rates have become inadequate.
The group achieved its best combined ratio in the past five years of 88% (2009: 90%), evidencing the stability of our diversified portfolio.
Despite a number of significant losses (notably the Chile and New Zealand earthquakes) our claims ratio fell to 52% (2009: 55%).
The group achieved an investment return for the year of $37.5m (2009: $88.1m) as it maintained its conservative approach to investment management.
We saw small rate decreases across all lines of business in 2010 but in spite of this delivered an excellent underwriting performance. The reinsurance division has seen significant premium growth in 2010 of 23%, driven by new business written by our special purpose syndicate (6107), supported by third party capital. Our life, accident and health team, acquired in 2008, has continued to develop well, writing $78.1m in 2010 compared to $67.9m in 2009, an increase of 15%. The reduction in premium written in the political risks and contingency group of 21% reflects our prudent approach to underwriting in difficult market conditions. Premiums in specialty lines, property and marine have remained in line with 2009.
Our largest division, specialty lines, contributed $78.2m towards the group's profits as prior year claims reserves continue to develop better than expected. Our marine team again produced excellent profits of $75.4m (2009: $74.2m). 2010 also saw a return to profit of $34.7m for our political risks and contingency division, which was impacted by trade credit losses in 2009. The reinsurance division reported a profit of $19.2m compared to a $53.2m profit in 2009, refecting eartquake activity in New Zealand and Chile. Finally our property group more than doubled its 2009 reported profit of $10.5m with a 2010 profit of $24.2m.