Chief exec says insurer won't be chasing growth

Brit increased its 2009 profits by 300% to £171m, but the Lloyd’s insurer won’t be chasing growth in 2010.

Chief executive Dane Douetil said: “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.

Brit enjoyed a quiet hurricane season and an uplift in investment returns of £137.4m last year, compared to £7.4m in 2008.

Douetil predicted rates would remain flat this year. “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.”

Combined operating ratio improved slightly from 96.4% to 94%. Brit returned 60p per share, the same as last year.

Douetil also said the insurer was well-placed to take advantage of the aerospace market. “We are the world leaders in space insurance and there will be an increase in satellite launches for HD television and wireless networks.”