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Beazley’s growth built on higher premiums and benign loss environment

Lloyd’s insurer Beazley has announced 2003 results in line with analysts’ forecasts.

Highlights included group pre-tax profits of £17.1mn compared to 2002 losses of £1.2mn and a proposed final dividend of 0.5p per share.

The group’s managed Syndicates 623 and 2623 saw an increase in gross written premiums to £708mn compared to £438mn for the same period in 2002 and a reduction in combined ratios to 82 percent from 94 percent a year earlier.

Net earned premiums reached $401mn compared to 2002’s figure of £292mn, and net premiums written leapt to £544mn.

CEO Andrew Beazley commented: "Beazley is delivering on its promises and we look forward to continuing to consolidate on our growth. We are writing an increasing proportion of medium tail, specialty line business to take advantage of the favourable rating environment in this market. We expect the strong underwriting environment to support healthy returns."

He said growth could be attributed to a benign loss environment and higher rates on renewed business, while specialty lines had made the most significant contribution to growth.

And he pointed to the fact that both Beazley and Lloyd’s had retained stable ratings, despite repeated downgrades of competitors since 2001.

His prognosis for the future was similarly upbeat. “London continues to see an increasing flow of business and rating levels in all our areas are at a level which we believe can deliver good underwriting profits. In 2004 we shall start to see the earnings potential of the group as we consolidate on the growth we have achieved in recent years," he said.

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