?Hiscox has posted record half-year results with its Lloyd’s-written global markets business making up the bulk of the booming profits.

The Bermuda-based, London-listed insurer posted gross written premiums up more than 17% from £625.1m to £733m with pre-tax profits leaping more than 72% from £61.3m to £105.6m.

The company’s combined ratio improved significantly from 94.6% to 84.8%.

Chief executive Bronek Masojada said: “Our global markets business has done stunningly well.

“This is the business primarily written at Lloyd’s, covering reinsurance, marine, energy, property and terrorism.

“There have been no problems in those areas on the whole and it was written in the hard markets of last year.

“We see no reason why that should change – it depends how much damage the hurricane season costs.”

Hiscox has already announced a 20% cut back in Syndicate 33, which Masojada described as the right thing to do but predicts continuing growth in other areas.

Masojada said: “We have acquired all we said we would. It will be organic growth from now own.

“In the UK we have just launched our second advert and we are hoping that will lead to more growth from brokers and consumers.”

He added that all the companies bought would be bases for expansion not consolidation.

“The US business [American Live Stock Insurance] has only $12m of revenue, but we’ve bought it to get a licence so we can trade there.”