A strong start to 2014 for Hiscox but insurer yet to weather storms

 
Kate McCann
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INSURER Hiscox boasted a strong start to 2014, despite a 31 per cent fall in profit for the first half of the year, a result of falling reinsurance rates and foreign exchange losses.

The positive outlook was confirmed by a number of analysts, who said the group’s results exceeded expectations.

Hiscox announced a profit before tax of £124.6m for the first half of 2014, compared to £180.7m in the period the previous year. Gross written premiums were down to £978.9m from £1.18bn in 2013.

The group recorded a foreign exchange loss of £16.4m in stark contrast to the same period a year earlier, when Hiscox made a currency gain of £34.9m. Despite this, the insurer will pay a dividend of 7.5 pence per share, up from seven pence last year. Chairman Robert Childs said: “It has been a strong start to the year, however we still have a hurricane season to face and earthquakes can happen at any time. However, opportunities continue to present themselves as we pursue our strategy of building balance and diversity.”

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