Currency exchange blamed for first half loss of £8.7m

Brit Insurance slumped from a £49.9m profit to a £8.7m loss in the first half of the year blaming foreign currency changes, but it claims costs also rose.

Financial highlights and key performance indicators

  • Gross written premiums £983.0m (£754.8m)
  • Net written premiums £792.1m (£577.7m)
  • Net earned premiums £743.3m (£548.8m)
  • Profit/loss before tax -£8.7m (£49.9m)
  • Profit/loss after tax -£6.3m (£37.6m)
  • Combined ratio 93.8% (88.8%)

Brit said profit before tax excluding the effect of foreign exchange on non-monetary items increased by 24.1% to £64.9m (£52.3m).

Douetil remains bullish

Dane Douetil, proup CEO said: “Overall premium growth of 12% at constant exchange rates masks significant underlying active portfolio management both across and within the global markets, reinsurance and UK strategic business units improving the quality of our underwriting portfolio.

“We also made good progress on our strategic objective of getting closer to our customers, opening our first offices in the United States, in Chicago, and in Japan, in Tokyo.

“Our investment in the micro-end of the UK commercial market through our on-line ventures continued to deliver with year on year growth of 103%.

Underwriting improving

“Underwriting margins are improving across most of the business, although some Casualty classes, particularly US Commercial PI and UK Specialist Liability, are not seeing the price rises we believe are required in the face of low interest rates. We expect, however, the situation in these classes to improve in the next 12 months.

“We continue to invest in our future and the quality of our underwriting capability with eight new senior underwriters joining us during the last six months in a variety of disciplines.”