With Angelique Ruzicka, finance editor
Lancashire could switch to the London Stock Exchange next month after three years on the AIM.
“Liquidity is king and it’s time for us, if we are accepted, to move on to the main market,” said Jonny Creagh-Coen, head of investor relations and marketing.
He said the specialist property insurer saw no need to issue more shares at this stage.
It announced the possible move at the same time as its results. Gross written premium (GWP) and pre-tax profit were down for the fourth quarter of 2008 and for the 12 months to 31 December 2008, but the insurer’s share price was up by nearly 5% on Monday and up 9.48% in the week. Share prices in most other AIM-listed insurance institutions remained flat.
Lancashire’s GWP for the fourth quarter was 15.7% down on the same period in 2007. It slumped 15.3% for the year. The company attributed the reduction to lower rates in most asset classes.
Pre-tax profit for the year was $97.6m (£68.4m), down from $391.9m in 2007. Combined ratio was 86.3% for the year, despite exposure to hurricane Ike.
Richard Brindle, group chief executive, said 2008 had been a tough year, but he remained upbeat about Lancashire’s prospects for 2009.
“The market has undoubtedly turned,” he said.