Brit Insurance Holdings posted its best ever combined ratio of 89.2% in first half results that sent it shooting back into profit.
This had improved from 90.2% in the first half of 2002.
But the group held back from paying a dividend, citing its desire to rebuild a £59.3m deficit on its profit and loss account, which resulted from the WTC events. The deficit has reduced from £93.3m at 30 June last year.
The group is moving business away from Lloyd's, with only 81% of its premium income coming from the market, down from 90% at June 2002.