GWP rises over six per cent to £1.19bn

Hiscox has reported a pre-tax profit rise of 18 per cent in its 2007 results.

The company posted pre-tax profit of £237.2m, up from £201.1m in 2006. Gross written premiums rose to £1.2bn from £1.13bn.

The insurer's combined UK and European businesses saw profits fall from £33.1m to £21.8m, but delivered top line growth of 13.7 per cent to £302.3m.

The insurer's combined operating ratio improved by almost five per cent from 89.1% to 84.4%.

The company declared a final dividend of 8p a share, increasing the total dividend by 2p to 12p.

In a statement released on the stock exchange, the insurer said that the market could prove "testing" over the next few years.

Hiscox Chairman Robert Hiscox said: “This is another record result driven primarily by the excellent performance of our Global Markets and Bermuda businesses. We will continue to develop our UK and international network to distribute our specialist products which will provide further stability to the Group.”