Lloyd’s market profits tumble 44% to $3.5b – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Lloyd’s market profits tumble 44% to $3.5b

LONDON (Bloomberg) Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurance market, said full-year profit fell 44 percent on claims related to catastrophes such as the earthquake in Chile and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.Pretax profit declined to £2.2 billion ($3.5 billion) from £3.9 billion a year earlier, the London-based market said today in a statement. Lloyd's didn't provide a net income figure.

“This is a solid result in a year with a slightly higher- than-average number of natural catastrophes,” chief executive officer Richard Ward said in the statement. “We are working hard to make sure claims are dealt with swiftly so communities in Japan, New Zealand and Australia can rebuild and recover.”

Lloyd's insurers were last year hurt by earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand as well as the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which caused a leak of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and flooding in Australia. As a result, they posted their largest losses on record outside of the US.

This month's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which killed more than 11,000 people, may cost the insurance industry as much as 2.5 trillion yen ($30 billion), according to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide. Lloyd's did not provide details on its claims from the disaster.

“We expect to publish details on claims from Japan in May,” finance director Luke Savage said in a telephone interview. “There is no reason to believe that any Lloyd's business will face problems meeting the claims.”

Lloyd's, which operates as a society of members, is not publicly listed. Its members include Bermuda-based insurers Catlin Group plc and Hiscox plc.

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Published March 31, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 31, 2011 at 9:32 am)

Lloyd’s market profits tumble 44% to $3.5b

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