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Kiln to increase capacity in 2007


LONDON--Lloyd's of London insurer Kiln P.L.C. plans to increase its capacity in 2007 to take advantage of "excellent opportunities" in property, reinsurance and personal accident lines.

The company, which manages four Lloyd's syndicates, intends to increase the capacity it manages at Lloyd's from the current £803 million ($1.50 billion) to £1 billion ($1.86 billion) in 2007.

The increase, to be funded by Kiln's existing resources, would put the London-based company among Lloyd's largest managing agents.

Kiln's chief executive officer, Edward Creasy, said in a statement that the increase "demonstrates our belief that next year will continue to offer Kiln excellent opportunities to exploit its competitive advantages to produce good returns for shareholders."

Kiln will use the additional capacity to accept more premium in its areas of specialization and where rates have been increasing, according to Mr. Creasy.

Additionally, Kiln announced that it posted pretax profits of £24.3 million ($44.9 million) for the first half 2006, down from the £34.0 million ($61.0 million) reported in the first half 2005. Profits were lower due to the weakening dollar and lower profit commission revenue, the company said. Nick Cosh, Kiln's chairman, said in a statement that the financial impact of "enhanced trading conditions" resulting from the post-hurricane rating environment were not "fully reflected" in first-half results.

Gross written premiums of £230.8 million ($426.8 million) in the half were 18.3% higher compared with the first half of 2005.