Chief exec warns investment returns will be muted in 2010

Hardening rates helped Brit boost its premium income for the year.

The Lloyd’s insurer reported £1.3bn gross written premium (GWP) for the first nine months of this year, an increase of 4.7% on a constant exchange rate basis compared with the same period last year. Average premium rate increase on renewal business for the period was 4.8%.

The rising stock market also helped the insurer to take in £119.8m, a reversal of fortune compared with this time last year when plunging stock markets wounded Brit with an £11.8m loss.

However, chief executive Dane Douetil warned that the stagnant bond market would make 2010 tough for investment returns.

“The UK business continues to make steady progress, benefiting from a slight rate tailwind and the increased penetration that comes with becoming an established carrier,” he said.

“Our investments have had a further good quarter but returns are likely to be muted in 2010 owing to narrower credit spreads and the low level of yield available from government securities.”