Lloyd’s boosted by strong investment performance but much work remains on underwriting 

Lloyd’s of London posted a £2.3bn half-year profit (2018 H1: £600m), despite only just managing to scrape an underwriting profit in the first six months of the year. 

Lloyd’s combined ratio worsened to 98.8% (2018 H1: 95.5%), despite strong efforts to boost underwriting performance.

The organisation is affected by attritional losses in older underwriting years. It released reserves of 0.4% compared to 3.8% last year. 

Lloyd’s has been on a drive to flush out bad business, with syndicates ordered to chop the worst performing 10% of their business.

Chief executive Jon Neal said the results ‘were encouraging’.

“It is encouraging that the Lloyd’s market is showing increased discipline in 2019,” he said. 

“We need to make some brave choices on how to meet the expectations of our customers and all our stakeholders in the future.”

Gross written premiums were £19.7bn (June 2018: £19.3bn) an increase of 1.8%.

But when stripping out foreign exchange movements and renewal growth of 3.9%, the underlying figure showed premiums going down 6.5%, a marker of the intense drive to get tougher on the business syndicates write. 

The expense ratio reduced to 38.1% (2018 H1: 39.3%).