Hiscox saw its pre-tax profit rise 300% for the full year, jumping to £83.4m from £20.7m in 2002.

Gross written premiums went up 18%, reaching £797m, up from £677m in 2002.

But it said it would not be closing off its 2001 year of account for Syndicate 33 due to the ongoing litigation from the World Trade Center attacks. It also put an extra £40m into its reserves for the WTC disaster.

Chairman Robert Hiscox said he was surprised by the attention the move had received, as there were many open accounts within Lloyd's. "We feel we must do this for equity between Names who have different participations in the 2001 and subsequent accounts."

For Syndicate 33 gross written premiums grew to £541m, up 17% on the £462m written in 2002. Pre-tax profit reached £64.5m, up from £13.9m.

The UK retail business showed steady growth, with gross written premiums of £175m, up from £148m, and pre-tax profit reaching £18.5m, up from £6.4m.