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Hiscox reports first-half profit increase


Hiscox Ltd. reported pretax profit of £135.1 million ($209.5 million), an 8.4% increase from 2014's first half, although future results could hinge on the upcoming hurricane season, the insurer and reinsurer said Monday.

The Hamilton Bermuda-based company, which did not break out its second-quarter results, reported an 82.5% combined ratio vs. 82% for the 2014's first half. Gross premiums written for this year's first half increased 12.0%, to £1.10 billion. ($1.71 billion).

“As usual, we are reporting on the cusp of the hurricane season, and Mother Nature can still deliver some surprises in the second half,” said Hiscox Chairman Robert S. Childs, in a statement.

“Strong results across the industry mask what we regard as a market that is defying gravity as pension funds and others pour capital in, fueling further competition in big-ticket insurance and reinsurance,” Mr. Childs said. “Rating levels are being gnawed away, yet attritional losses remain constant, and thus underlying loss ratios are creeping up. The market's profitability is being propped up by a lack of meaningful catastrophe losses.”

For the first quarter of 2015, the insurer had also reported a 12% increase in gross written premiums vs. the comparable quarter in 2014, to £561.7 million ($863.3 million).

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