GWP eclipse £200m mark

Ecclesiastical saw profit rise slightly in the first half of 2007, despite £11m of losses from weather related events.

Underwriting profits slipped into the red as the combined operating ratio deteriorated to 101.2% from 85.8% in 2006.

Gross written premiums were £201.8m, up £6.1m on 2006. Pre-tax profit were £28.7m - an increase of £0.9m on 2006

Group Chief Executive Michael Tripp said: “We’ve seen good development of our reputation in the first half of 2007 – in particular we’ve strengthened our presence in the heritage property market and our specialist niches of charity, education, care and church. However we have been determined to maintain underwriting discipline in the face of continued market rate softening and so gross premium growth is limited. We have been affected by the weather events in the UK, with the January storms and June floods in particular giving rise to losses totalling £11.4 million pounds.”

“Ecclesiastical is a specialist insurer, so we don’t compete on price alone. To continue on the positive course we’ve set for the future, we’ve got to underwrite sensibly. We will continue to control costs, maintain our underwriting discipline and focus on delivering excellent customer service to our customers.” Key figures: