• SVB Holdings reported a pre-tax loss of £117.5m for the year ended 30 June 2004. This compared to a pre-tax profit of £11.1m for the first half of 2003.
  • Gross written premium (GWP) increased 28% to £289m from £225m the previous year. The board said it would not pay an interim dividend.

    SVB subsidiary Fusion generated GWP of £51.7m, against £42.3m the previous year.

    SVB said start-up Novae had generated premium income of around £9.5m for the half year.

    Ratings agency Moody's put the financial strength rating of SVB's Lloyd's Syndicate 1007 under review for possible downgrade after the results were announced. Moody's said the review reflected the lower earnings forecast for the syndicate's 2002 year of account as a result of continued reserve deterioration.

  • Chaucer is hoping to finalise an agreement to manage a new syndicate on behalf of Bermuda-based Quanta by the end of this month.
  • Earlier, it was revealed that Quanta is planning to establish an £80m professional risks syndicate at Lloyd's.

    In a statement announcing Chaucer half-year results, the company said: "We are in discussions with a capital provider for the provision of managing agency services to a new syndicate for 2005."

    Chaucer reported a pre-tax profit of £19.8m for the six months to 30 June 2004, up 32% on 2003. Gross written premiums increased to £221m from £201.2m, while the interim dividend increased 15% to 0.75p per share, against 0.65p last year.

    The company reported a combined ratio of 82.8%.

  • Bermuda-based insurer Alea reported improved operating profits, but lower pre-tax profits for the six months to 30 June, compared to 2003.
  • Alea said operating profit increased 74% to $61.4m, up from $35.3m the previous year. But profit before tax fell from $41.4m in 2003 to $24.2m for the first half of 2004. Gross written premiums rose from $771.8m to $993m, while its combined ratio improved to 95.7%, compared with 97.1% for the first half of 2003.

    Alea's London operation wrote $6.1m in specialist motor through new contracts with Kinetic and Endsleigh for the first half of the year. The company said $14m would be written in the second half of the year as a result of these contracts.

    Alea London's combined ratio rose from 88.5% to 90.5%.

  • The Goss Group had a "difficult" 2003, with operating profit from continuing operations falling 8% from £363,427 to £299,090.
  • Goss Group chairman and chief executive Michael King said the company's results had been hit by "a substantial increase in the disallowed expense of goodwill amortisation in 2003".

    FSA compliance also had an impact, said King, with the cost estimated at more than £500,000.

    He said 2003 was a difficult year for the group in that "only two Goss companies (Goss & Co Financial Services and Goss & Co Insurance Brokers) and C&I Insurance Services turned in anything like reasonable profit".

    King said 2003 was the first year to include results of the two Pendleton May financial services companies. Operating profit for Pendleton May Insurance Brokers was £20,406, down from the £290,926 reported the previous year.

  • Motor and household support services business Aquilo cut its operating losses in the first half of 2004 as turnover increased 78%.
  • Operating losses for the six months to 30 June fell 20% to £550,000, compared to £676,000 in 2003. Turnover rose to £1.83m.

    Gross profit more than doubled from £407,000 in 2003 to £883,000.

    The first half of 2004 saw Aquilo sell its IT division, list on AIM and buy the motor engineering services from Rubicon.

    Aquilo said that while the conversion of pilots in its claims management business into ongoing contracts had suffered delays, "a number of steps have been taken which are likely to lead to rapid growth".