Beazley reports loss after quake pay-outs takes toll

Lloyd's of London insurer Beazley said it sank to a loss in the first half of the year after taking a $183m (£112m) hit from natural disasters including the Japanese earthquake.

Beazley, the first listed Lloyd's insurer to report interim results, made a pretax loss of $24.2m over the six months of 2011, compared with a profit of $115.5m a year earlier.

Beazley said profits from non-catastrophe related business had allowed it to "largely absorb" the impact of an unprecedented run of natural disasters in the first half including Australian floods, earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, and tornadoes in the United States.

The company is paying an interim dividend of 2.5 pence per share, up from 2.4 pence a year earlier.