Catlin shakes off cat loss

LLOYD’S insurer Catlin returned solid full-year results yesterday despite taking a $218m (£136m) hit from catastrophe-related losses.

Catlin saw pre-tax profit fall by a third to $406m from $603m last year, but beat analysts’ forecasts of $382m.

Underwriting profits grew five per cent to $683m, as it added ten per cent to the net premiums it wrote, to a total $3.2bn. It wrote $4.07bn gross premiums, up from $3.71bn in 2009.

Chief executive Stephen Catlin said the results were achieved “despite the catastrophe losses and the low interest rate environment” that continued to make the market challenging.

Chief operating officer Paul Jardine said 2010’s losses were normal. “Our risk appetite has remained pretty constant,” he said. “It is within what we would expect in any year.”

Jardine added that Catlin, Lloyd’s’ largest syndicate with an 8.5 per cent market share, was not involved in UK M&A activity. “From a London perspective I don’t see what a further acquisition would do for us,” he said.

Catlin expects to make a $50m loss from Australian floods in January.