Atrium Underwriting posts a tripled first-half pretax profit

Atrium Underwriting has posted a tripled first-half pretax profit, benefiting from overall favourable conditions and said it should see attractive returns in the absence of abnormal loss activity.

The company, which will be acquired by Ariel Holdings, reported a pretax profit of £23.8m for the six months to June 30 compared with £7.9m a year earlier.

Gross written premiums rose marginally to £97.7m from £93.6m and the net combined ratio for managed syndicate capacity fell to 72% from 90%.

The company attributed the profit rise to favourable claims experience and releases from prior years, in particular in relation to the 2005 hurricane losses, improved profit commission and investment income, and minimal impact of foreign exchange movements. It also cautioned that the hurricane season is not yet over and second-half performance will depend on the events of the next three months.

Atrium did not declare an interim dividend, citing terms of the offer by Ariel, which is now unconditional.