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Berkley net rises 32.8% in 2006


GREENWICH, Conn.--W.R. Berkley Corp. reported $501.5 million in profits for the first nine months of 2006, a 32.8% gain compared with the same period last year.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based insurer attributed the increase to expansion into new lines of business and the growth of existing business.

This has "enabled us to maintain a growth rate in excess of the industry," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William R. Berkley.

Gross premiums written in 2006 rose by 5.9% to $4.06 billion. The combined ratio for the first nine months of 2006 was 88.6%, compared with 90.2% during the same period in 2005.