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Max Capital profits climb in first half


HAMILTON, Bermuda--Max Capital Group Ltd. lifted profits 83.3% to $174.1 million for the first half of 2007 despite a drop in gross written premiums.

For the first six months of the year, Hamilton, Bermuda-based Max Capital reported a 15.7% decrease in gross written premiums, to $455.1 million compared with $539.9 million, from the same period in 2006.

Max Capital also boosted profits in the quarter, to $94.1 million from $19.7 million last year, though gross written premiums were down 15% last quarter to $241.5 million.

"Gross premiums written for the quarter remain down compared to 2006, but continue in line with our 2007 expectations," W. Marston Becker, chairman and chief executive officer of Max Capital, said in a statement.

The first-half profit gain was "due to a combination of solid underwriting results and outstanding investment returns," a Max Capital spokesman said.