Kiln Underwriting made a loss of £4.2m for the first six months of this year, but the figure was an improvement on the £6.2m loss for the same period last year.

Principal elements of the loss were an underwriting technical loss of £2.6m and a disappointing return on investments of £2m.

Total capacity is to rise by around 10% with an increase of 15% in the composite syndicate 510, of which Kiln now owns 51% following Auction 5. Other Kiln syndicates are 308 (life), 557 (non-marine) and 807 (non-marine).

Corrective action has been taken on the motor and medical portfolios and the motor portfolio is said to be moving back to profit.

Premium rates in 2000 have so far shown a marked improvement over 1998 and 1999, which if the trend continues, will lead to much improved underwriting results for the 2000 year of account.

David Gilchrist, Kiln's executive chairman said: “In the context of the Lloyd's market we have performed relatively satisfactorily.”

Link, the retail arm, is to be developed into a processing centre both for Kiln and third parties. Kiln Cotesworth Stewart and Anton Holdings have agreed to merge.