Wellington threatens to dump underpriced lines, as it reports profit surge

Wellington warned of weakening rates in the Lloyd's market, where it said it would pull out of business lines rather than write it too cheaply.

The US property account, in which Wellington is a major lead, is likely to generate less business than planned this year.

As reported in Insurance Times last month, the company has also cut back on off-shore construction. It will also be closely watching aviation business.

Chief executive Julian Avery said: "We believe we will be able to lead and write the business we want at acceptable rates.

"But again we will not be frightened to reduce our lines or walk away, if we think that adequate profitability cannot be achieved."

The warnings came as Wellington reported a whopping 530% jump in pre-tax profits to £23.3m in the six months to 30 June from £3.7m in the same period last year.

Earnings per share were up to 3.2p from 1.6p and gross written premium increased 10% on a like-for-like basis. These figures exclude lines now written by Aspen Re, of which Wellington owns 19.8%.

The group reintroduced an interim dividend of 0.35p.

Results box

  • Profit before tax up 530% to £23.3m in six months from £3.7m
  • Net combined ratio improved to 92% from 106%
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