Gross written premiums drop to £794.9m

Mark Cloutier Brit

Brit Insurance Holdings grew its after tax profits by almost six times on strong operating and investment returns in the first half of 2012.

The Lloyd’s insurer reported net income of £38.3m for the six months ended 30 June 2012 (2011: £6.4m).

Brit’s combined ratio dropped below 100% to 93.3% over the same period (2011: 104.8%).

Gross written premiums, however, declined to £794.9m in the first half of the year (2011: £845.3m).

Brit Group chief executive Mark Cloutier said: “It has been a good first half for The Brit Group with strong operating and investment results driving a 15.1% annualised return on net tangible assets and total value creation for the six month period of £74.0m. This was achieved during a period of significant restructuring within the Group as we sharpened our focus on our core business.

“In recent months we have set out to create a more efficient and clearly defined Lloyd’s specialty underwriter which is now the heart of our business. We formed Brit Global Specialty through the merger of our reinsurance and global markets strategic business units and commenced underwriting in our new Richmond Virginia specialty insurance operation, while at the same time we negotiated and signed two strategic transactions disposing of our non-core UK regional business which, combined, will achieve a premium to NTA and provides the Group with substantial capital flexibility.

“To have delivered the results we have while undertaking such significant change in the Group speaks volumes about the commitment and dedication of the entire Brit team and I am grateful to all our employees for their hard work and dedication. We plan to continue strengthening our team with the addition of a number of new underwriters and teams in addition to the recent senior management appointments we have made.

“With the bulk of the restructuring behind us we can now concentrate on continuing and accelerating the profitable growth of our core specialty business, which will be founded on the principles of disciplined underwriting, excellent claims practices and active capital management with a view to creating a premium Lloyd’s franchise.”

Investment return remained flat at 1.6% for the first half of 2012 (2011: 105%).

During the period Brit sold its non-core regional UK business to QBE Insurance (Europe) Ltd and agreed the sale of Brit Insurance Ltd to RiverStone Group.