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Atrium says space consortium gets support


LONDON—Atrium Underwriting P.L.C. expects another big year, with help from its new space insurance consortium, even as the Lloyd's of London managing agency marks record profits in 2006.

Atrium, which manages two Lloyd's syndicates and owns underwriting portfolios in five others, recorded pre-tax profits of £44.7 million ($88.4 million) in 2006, up 347% over 2005 profits. A "benign claims experience" helped Atrium earn the record profits, according to a statement by Steve Cook, chief executive of the London-based agency.

Atrium earned its profits with a smaller gross premium volume. Gross writings reached £152 million ($300.5 million), down from £172 million ($340 million) in 2005.

The Atrium Space Insurance Consortium, which began operations this year, "has already gained strong support from the broking community and is targeting premium income of $50 million," according to an Atrium statement.

The consortium is made up of five Lloyd's syndicates and is led by Atrium's syndicate 609. It provides capacity of $22 million on any launch or in-orbit satellite.