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(Reuters) — Lloyd's of London insurer Beazley PLC said Tuesday its 2019 first-half earnings nearly tripled from last year as it wrote more policies at higher rates and said it expects double-digit premium growth over the year.
While the industry has struggled with stagnant rates due to stiff competition, Beazley has managed to raise premium rates after a string of industrywide catastrophe claims led to hefty bills in the past couple of years.
The company, which provides casualty and property, cyber and political risk insurance, said pretax profit rose to $166.4 million for the six months ended June 30, from $57.5 million a year earlier, as gross written premiums rose 12% to $1.48 billion.
However Beazley’s combined ratio, which measures costs against revenue, rose to 100% compared with 95% last year, due to higher claims in some units.
“Claims concentrated largely in our marine and reinsurance divisions drove our combined ratio to 100%, but premium rates have adjusted accordingly and margins in many lines of business now look healthier than they have in some years,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Horton said.
There was a 105% increase in the number of ransomware attack notifications against Beazley PLC clients in this year’s first quarter, compared with the same quarter a year ago, the insurer said in a report issued Wednesday.