Beazley profits almost triple on higher insurance premiums
Beazley has seen profits almost triple in the first half of the year after it was boosted by higher premiums.
Shares in the Lloyd’s of London insurer lifted higher in early trading as it recovered from a turbulent period of high payouts caused by natural disasters.
The firm said that a change in sentiment has driven a double-digit growth in premiums so far this year following the period of rising claims.
Beazley reported a 189% surge in pre-tax profits to 166.4 million US dollars (£133.8 million) for the six months to June 30.
The growth was driven by an increase in premiums, with gross premiums written over the period rising 12% to 1.48 billion dollars (£1.19 billion), compared to the same period in 2018.
The insurer said it forecast rate rises much higher than actually took place during the half-year, after heavy claims drove prices higher last year.
It highlighted marine, aviation and property as areas where the company is eyeing growth opportunities, due to better performance than in previous years.
Premiums for cyber risks rose by 18% while premiums for its political, accident and contingency division increased by 22% during the period.
Chief executive Andrew Horton said: “Beazley achieved strong premium growth in the first half of the year.
“Claims concentrated largely in our marine and reinsurance divisions drove our combined ratio to 100%, but premium rates have adjusted accordingly and margins in many lines of business now look healthier than they have in some years.”
In 2018 Beazley saw profits tumble as the insurance firm was stung by claims linked to several natural disasters in the US and Japan.
It paid out 110 million dollars (£85 million) to clients afflicted by a spate of natural catastrophes, which included two hurricanes in the US, Florence and Michael, and two typhoons in Japan, Jebi and Trami.
Shares in the company rose by 3.2% to 554p in early trading on Tuesday.