- Profit before income tax of $250.8m (2009: $158.1m)
Profit excluding exceptional foreign exchange gain* of $217.1m and return on equity of 18.7%
Return on equity of 21.4% (2009: 16.0%)**
Gross written premiums reduced by 1% to $1,741.6m
Combined ratio 88% (2009: 90%)
Rate decrease on renewal portfolio of 2% (2009: 3% increase)
Prior year reserve releases of $144.6m (2009: $105.5m)
Investment income of $37.5m (2009: $88.1m)
Second interim dividend of 5.1 pence plus special dividend of 2.5 pence, taking total dividends paid for the year to 10.0 pence (2009: 7.0 pence)
*Profit before income tax and earnings per share includes an exceptional foreign exchange gain of $33.7m, described in notes 1 and 4 to the financial statements.
** Return on equity is calculated as profit after tax divided by average daily shareholders funds during the year.
Earnings per share has remained at a healthy level throughout the reporting periods, with a 3 x dividend cover for 2010.
Dividends per share have grown by 56% since 2006 (excluding the special dividend) and by 25% since 2007.
Our average return on equity for the past 5 years has been 20.0%. The above chart excludes the effect of foreign exchange on non-monetary items together with the one-off gain of $33.7m in 2010.
Gross premiums written have remained flat in 2010 having risen steadily since 2006.
We continued to achieve a sector leading combined ratio, which in 2010 was 88%.