Low earned premiums in first half also contributed to poor performance

Bermuda-based Lloyd’s insurer Omega has made first-half pre-tax loss of $34.2m (£22m), after warning two weeks ago that it was expecting a loss of roughly $35m.

The first-half 2010 result compares with a profit of $22.9m in the same period last year. Omega’s combined ratio jumped to 128.3% in the first half of 2010 from 82.5% in the first half of 2009, and its return on equity was -6.9%, compared with 4.2% in the first half of 2009.

Omega attributed the loss to catastrophe events and a high incidence of large losses, coupled with low earned premiums in the first half of the year. The company also had to boost reserves by $12m.

The loss follows a torrid first half for Omega. An overhaul of the company’s board in March saw Richard Pexton replace Richard Tolliday as chief executive.