Soon-to-be-bought Lloyd’s insurer boosted GWP by 25% and cut COR by 10 points

Lloyd’s insurer Canopius made a post-tax profit f £99m in 2013, more than double the £49m it made in 2012.

Post tax return on equity increased eight percentage points to 25% (2012: 17%).

Underpinning the result was a 25% increase in gross written premium to £866m (2012: £692m) and a 10-percentage-point improvement in its combined operating ratio (COR) to 85% (2012: 95%).

Catastrophes and large losses added seven points to the COR in 2013, compared with 12 points in 2013.

Canopius also improved its attritional loss ratio, which excludes catastrophes and large losses, by five points to 49% (2012: 54%).

Chairman and chief executive Michael Watson said: “2013 was a landmark year for Canopius.

“A sparkling set of results and a fitting finale to our first decade. Given our business mix, I am especially pleased by the reduction in our attritional loss ratio to 49%, one of the lowest in the market.

“This demonstrates our focus on underwriting fundamentals and the skills of our underwriters in challenging market conditions.”

Canopius, currently owned by private equity house Bregal Capital, is in the process of being bought by Japanese insurance group NKSJ Holdings through its Sompo Japan subsidiary.  

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

Watson said: “We are proud to become the global specialty (re)insurance platform of one of the largest insurance groups in the world, and eagerly anticipate building a business of appropriate breadth and scale for NKSJ.

“With the additional financial backing and global licence network that NKSJ provides, our track record of growth, both organically and through M&A, is set to continue.”