Q1 results show flat premiums

Beazley Group said the company's performance for the three months to end-March is within expected business plans and added it currently expects its sub-prime exposure will remain within its reserves as it posted premiums of £201m in the first quarter of 2008.

Investment income during the first quarter of 2008 was impacted by the mark to market effects of the continued stress in credit markets, resulting in sharp declines in bid prices for both corporate and asset-backed securities, and by weak equity markets, the company said.

It added at this stage it has no reason to believe the market decreases will affect its ability to deliver solid results. It also said during the three month period to March 31, premiums were consistent with last year and in line with expectations.

The group said it continues to target $250m of premium from its U.S. operations for the whole of 2008, compared to $175.2m written for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

"Our Lloyd's business has become more competitive and has contracted to a limited extent while the business of our US operations continues to grow," chief executive Andrew Beazley said in a statement.