Bermuda-based insurer Catlin swung back to profit in the first six months of 2012, helped by a sharp drop in natural catastrophe-related claims relative to last year.
Catlin, operator of the biggest syndicate in the Lloyd's of London market, made a pretax profit of $231m (£148m) in the six months to 30 June, compared with a loss of $201 million a year earlier, it said this morning.
Analysts had expected a profit of $212m, according to the average of 10 estimates collected by the company.
Catlin said the improvement reflected a lack of catastrophe claims during the first half, in contrast with the same period in 2011, when it absorbed a net $534m loss as a result of natural disasters including Japan's Tohoku earthquake.
The company is "in a solid position to take advantage of opportunities as they arise in the second half of the year," chief executive and founder Stephen Catlin said in a statement.
London-listed Catlin is paying a dividend of 9.5 pence per share, an increase of 5 per cent.