Premiums up 10% on last year

Hardy Underwriting Bermuda has reported first half pre-tax profit of £8.7m. In the same period last year, the insurer reported profit of £9.1m.

David Mann, chairman of Hardy Underwriting Bermuda, said: “Through rigorous underwriting discipline, class leadership and the benefit of the new lines and teams added over the past years, we have achieved returns broadly in line with expectations, despite general market weakness."

The insurer’s gross written premiums for the period were £97m up from £88.8m in the first half of 2007.

Hardy’s combined ratio deteriorated to 83.3% from 79.5%.

Mann said: "The group has demonstrated its ability to overcome challenging market conditions over more than three decades, to manage the insurance cycle effectively and to embrace and enhance the professionalism and expertise of its people.

“As and when market conditions are judged suitable, the business will be poised and ready to capitalise on the opportunities which the Bermuda platform will afford and to build the business for the future."

Barbara Merry, Hardy's chief executive, added: "A great deal has been achieved in the first half of this year in terms of advancing Hardy's long term strategies, including significant progress in the establishment of our business in Bermuda.

“Despite testing market conditions we have achieved returns that are broadly in line with market expectations and we have every confidence in our team to continue to drive the business forward."