Beazley Group has reported a £800,000 profit before tax for the six month period to 31 December 2002.

The results represent Beazley's first set of accounts as a public company.

The group's two syndicates, 623 and 2623, reported gross premiums written of £438m for the full year to 31 December 2002.

This was against £355m in 2001.

Net premiums earned were £292m in 2002, against £179m in 2001.

The combined ratio improved to 94%, against 108% in 2001.

The group's 2003 capacity increased to £660m from £403m in 2002.

Chief executive Andrew Beazley said: "2002 has been an exceptional year in terms of premium growth, rate increases and underwriting results and our outlook remains positive for 2003."