Lloyd's insurer Hardy Underwriting said it had reduced the forecast for Syndicate 382's 2002 year of account due to the weak US dollar.

The forecast for the 2002 year of account is now 13.5% to 18.5%, compared with the previous range of 15% to 20% of capacity.

Hardy blamed the falling value of the dollar against sterling for the downgrading. About 70% of the syndicate's income is in dollars.

Hardy said the 2001 account for Syndicate 382 had closed with a profit of 11.4% of capacity, slightly above the mid-point of the previous forecast of 8.5% to 13.5%. It said the 2003 year was expected to produce a reasonable profit.