Latest round of financial reports

Hiscox criticises Lloyd’s

Hiscox bosses have slammed Lloyd’s and rival Lloyd’s insurers for failing to adapt to tougher conditions in the softening market.

Reporting a £36m rise in full-year profits this week, Hixcox chief executive Bronek Masojada criticised Lloyd’s for allowing too many new entrants into the market, while chairman Robert Hiscox attacked rival insurers for attempting to draw big profits in risky conditions.

In his results statement, Hiscox said: “The lust for non-catastrophe exposed business is turning underwriting discipline to jelly.”

AXA seeks online renewal boost

AXA’s goal is to have two-thirds of its brokers renewing business online in 2008, said UK chief executive Peter Hubbard.

According to the insurer’s annual results, commercial business grew by only 1.4%.

Hubbard said by the end of 2007, 7,500 transactions per month were carried out online, and 300 brokers in the commercial market were renewing business electronically.

Highway specialty plans

Highway chief executive Andrew Gibson said plans to expand and launch new lines of specialty business will be contingent on the motor market hardening this year.

The motor insurer had a difficult year as highlighted in its annual results, showing a combined operating ratio of 101.3%.

Gibson said the company was eager to expand and had plans for new specialty schemes that could be launched as early as this spring if rates continued to rise.

RSA walks away from £200m

Royal & Sun Alliance’s (RSA) commercial book has declined by 9% as the insurer walked away from about £200m worth of new business.

On the back of strong results, that showed the UK’s net written premiums increase by 3% to £2.7bn, UK chief executive Bridget McIntyre said the company turned down £200m in new commercial business as it continued to cut back capacity – as much as 20% in areas such as fleet.

JLT slashes costs to lift revenues

JLT chief executive Dominic Burke has warned of “suicidal” pricing by larger brokers attempting to maintain market share. The broker revealed pre-tax profit growth of 5% to £95m.

Burke said the growth, accompanied by a 3% increase in global revenues to £473m, was the result of slashing operating expenses