Groups predicts a further fall this year

The Benfield Group has reported a 7.5% decline in its 2007 profit, blaming the weak dollar and has predicted further decline in this years profits.

The group said its operating profit for the year to 31 December 2007 came in at £69.3m, down from £74.9m the previous year.

Its reported revenue for 2007 fell by £16.1m to £339.2m, and trading margin reduced from 21.1% to 20.4%. Net income declined to £36.58m from £38.34m.

In a statement, the group said: "The difficult trading conditions of 2007 are likely to continue in the short-term and consequently, absent significant improvement in market conditions, we anticipate the 2008 trading result will be marginally below that for 2007."

Grahame Chilton, chief executive of Benfield, said: “The business faced considerable headwinds in 2007 including adverse currency trends and the softening reinsurance market.

"Nevertheless, we continued to deliver growth in revenue and trading profit on a constant currency basis.

"We further strengthened the unique mix of reinsurance knowledge, capital markets expertise and market leading analytics which is at the heart of Benfield’s franchise.

"We remain committed to delivering value to shareholders through our long-term goal of growth across cycles and I am confident of the group’s prospects for future progress.”