Specialist insurance market Lloyd's of London announced its most profitable half-year results since 2008.
Lloyd’s, a marketplace in London where its approximately 80 members join together as syndicates to insure risk, issued its interim report on 26 September, which showed the market made a profit of £1.53bn for the six-month period ending 30 June 2012.
It also declared an improved combined ratio, the measure of an insurer’s underwriting profitability which is calculated by adding the net incurred claims to the net operating expenses and net earned premiums.
A combined ratio of 100% is break even (before taking into account investment returns). A ratio less than 100% is an underwriting profit - this year Lloyd's reported 88.7%, compared 113.3% in the first half year of 2011.
Lloyd’s chief executive Richard Ward said the results were down to a favourable claims climate with less disaster claims being filed, for natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.
Lloyd's' premiums cover casualty, property, marine, energy, motor, aviation and reinsurance.
In 2011, Lloyd's reported a loss of £697m after paying out £4.6bn related to disasters such as floods in Australia and Thailand, an earthquake in New Zealand and the tsunami in Japan.
Ward added that despite the 'soft' insurance market with low premiums and low interest rates, Lloyd's' expert underwriting had enabled the market to turn the strongest six-month results for five years.
And chairman of Lloyd’s John Nelson added: “Looking forward, the Lloyd‘s market - with its record capital levels, A and A+ credit ratings and strong reputation – is well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities that arise both home and abroad.”