GWP rises more than 10% ignoring currency and ratio falls

Brit Insurance announced gross written premiums of £1,696.4m, a growth of 21.6% or 10.4% at constant currency. It also cut its combined ratio excluding the effect of foreign exchange to 94.0% from 96.4% in 2008.

Its pre-tax profit excluding the effect of foreign exchange was £171.3m, a growth of more than 300% (£39.6m).

Financial highlights (£m) (2008 in brackets)

  • Gross written premiums 1,696.4 (1,394.6)
  • Net written premiums 1,471.4 (1,163.3)
  • Net earned premiums 1,495.5 (1,145.6)
  • Profit before tax excluding the effect of foreign exchange 1 171.3 (39.6)
  • Profit before tax 116.4 (89.2)
  • Combined ratio 94.0% (96.4%)

By sector

  • Brit Global Markets 875.3 (781.3) -1.0%
  • Brit Reinsurance 364.2 (260.7) 23.5%
  • Brit UK 455.4 (350.6) 28.1%
  • Other 1.5 (2.0)
  • Total Group 1,696.4 (1,394.6) 10.4%

Dane Douetil, chief executive officer said: "We are pleased with our results for 2009 and believe that the current rating environment will stay broadly flat in aggregate across our portfolio in 2010.

“We are clearly focused on the underwriting margins achievable on a class by class basis and will continue to refine our portfolio to maximise shareholder value. In this context, we do not expect to grow the overall premium base of the Group in the coming year.

“With our strong balance sheet, diverse business franchise and focus on optimising underwriting returns, we are confident of our ability to continue to create value for our shareholders."