Acquisitions help group write £2.4bn GWP

Markel’s London market insurance division has reported a one point improvement in its combined operating ratio (COR) to 88%.

It made a $95m underwriting profit on gross written premium (GWP) of $914.5m (£557.5).

Its results were helped by $142m of released reserves.

Markel International finance director Andy Davies said: “Our prudent reserving philosophy continues to give prior-year reserve releases.

“We have seen good growth across our business and we continue to benefit from a strong investment performance primarily due to the excellent returns on our equity portfolio.”

At group level, Markel reported a 97% COR for 2013, flat with 2012. It posted a $281m profit, up 10.9% on 2012.

Total GWP grew 56% to $3.92bn (£2.39bn), boosted by May’s acquisition of Alterra and growth in its specialty admitted and excess and surplus lines segments.