Insurer to focus on Syndicate 510 after £25m turnaround to profit

Kiln will increase the premiums it writes by about 70%, after pulling off a £25m turnaround in 2002.

The Lloyd's insurer achieved £10.5m profit before tax in 2002 up from a loss of £15.7m the year before.

This follows a fall in gross written premiums during the year to £268.6m from £275.6m.

Chief executive Edward Creasy said Kiln would use capital raised in 2002, focusing increases on Syndicate 510.

Director of underwriting Robert Chase said Kiln would particularly increase its writing international non-marine property and marine, aviation and transport. These classes accounted for 39% and 19% of Kiln's 2002 business, respectively.

Qualifying quota share (QQS) arrangements totalling £162m boosted Kiln's capacity for 2002 and 2003.

Creasy suggested the group might use less QQS next year. "If conditions are less attractive it follows that perhaps we would cut back a bit," he said.

Kiln's combined ratio came down to 91% from 107% during the period.

But the group took tough decisions that will impact this year's figures. It dumped its entire equity portfolio after seeing it fall in value by 21% during 2002 and will close its final salary pension scheme, replacing it with a money purchase scheme from 1 May.

The scheme was in deficit by £27m at 31 December and Kiln will pay £750,000 into the scheme annually to try to top it up.