Business

Profit plunges 63 per cent at insurer Beazley

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Profit fell steeply at insurer Beazley in the first half of the year with profit before tax dropping by 63 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Beazley announced this morning that its profit before tax for the six months to 30 June was $57.5m (£44.1m), compared to $158.7m in the same period in 2017.

Return on equity also fell steeply, from 18 per cent last year to six per cent this year.

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The underwriter, which provides marine, casualty and property insurance, said gross written premiums increased 15 per cent, from $1.149bn to $1.3323bn.

The companys chief executive Andrew Horton said: "Beazley saw strong top line growth during the first half of the year, with premiums up 15 per cent. Growth in premiums was strongest in our property division, where rates have risen sharply following the heavy catastrophe losses incurred by insurers and reinsurers last year.

“Our investment return in the first half was depressed by the impact of rising US interest rates on our bond portfolio, but we expect the rate rises seen in the first half of the year will help us deliver stronger returns going forward."

Separately, it announced that its finance director Martin Bride is retiring from the company in the second quarter of 2019.

Beazley said a search for his replacement will begin immediately.

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