13 August 2014

Brit profits hike 71%

Brit has posted strong results for the first half of 2014, following its re-listing earlier this year.

Brit's profits before tax increased by 71.4 percent in the first half of 2014 to £96 million, compared with £56 million in the first half of 2013.

Its gross written premiums (GWP) grew 4.5 percent to £701.2 million in the period, compared with £671.2 million in the same period of 2013. At constant exchange rates the increase would have been 11.6 percent.

Brit Global Specialty Direct contributed to the growth, as premiums in the segment grew to 10.8 percent, driven by the continued development of Brit’s strategic growth classes and the impact of specific growth initiatives.

“A significant contributor to this was the continued expansion of the Group's Chicago based US service company platform, BGSU, which writes business on behalf of Brit Syndicate 298,” said the insurer in a statement.

Brit Global Speciality Reinsurance suffered a 9.8 percent reduction in premiums, which the insurer said was in line with expectations and reflected challenging market conditions. It added that the reduction was partially offset by new business written in the recently established Bermudan office, which wrote US $23.9 million of premium in the period.

Its combined ratio deteriorated slightly to 88.3 percent, compared with 86.2 percent in the first half of 2013.

Mark Cloutier, group chief executive officer of Brit, said: “Brit has had a successful first half of 2014 and the business is delivering on the targets set out at the time of the IPO.

“I am also very pleased to announce our first interim dividend since our re-listing of 6.25p per share.

“Our focus on underwriting profitability means we continue to grow premium levels where we see attractively priced opportunities and our 2013 new business initiatives are delivering profitable growth, with new teams in London, the United States, and Bermuda contributing to the Group's increase in premium of 11.6 percent at constant exchange rates. This focus on profitable growth and strategic fit was the driver behind a number of further initiatives in the first half of 2014, as seen by the recruitment of a UK property team, the opening of our Miami-based Latin American office and the acquisition of QBE's Lloyd's aviation portfolio renewal rights and underwriting team. We also continue to make long-term investment in people and infrastructure to develop our business in areas which offer attractive returns.

“Looking ahead, the underwriting environment is undeniably becoming increasingly challenging. However, our disciplined approach to underwriting together with our focus on optimising the risk adjusted return of our investment portfolio means we are well positioned to continue to deliver attractive returns for our shareholders.”

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