National Farmers’ Union (NFU) profits crashed 57% last year on lower investment returns and weather-related claims, annual accounts reveal.

The NFU’s profits declined from £366m in 2009 to £159m last year. The company made an underwriting loss of £150m, as opposed to a loss of £118m in 2009.

NFU did manage to increase its gross written premiums from £1.06bn to £1.205bn, although net claims incurred increased from £866m £979m.

Despite the dip in performance, the company said in its annual report statement it was pleased with progress.

The chief executive’s statement, Lindsay Sinclair, said: “Our general insurance business saw another good year of growth ... we saw our gross written premium income reach £1.2bn (£1.06bn). A number of factors meant that we made an underwriting loss before mutual bonus of £150m in 2010.

“However, this was better than planned, even though the scale of weather events last year was not anticipated.”