Lloyds of London hits record profit

THE Lloyd’s of London insurance market said its profit more than doubled last year to a new record thanks to a quiet hurricane season and lucrative investments.

Pre-tax profit was £3.87bn – up from £1.9bnin 2008, when the market was forced to pay out massive sums after communities and businesses were torn apart by hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

Reduced claims expenses pushed Lloyd's 2009 combined ratio – a key measure of profitability which expresses claims and costs as a proportion of premium income – to 86 percent from 91 percent the previous year.

The market also benefited last year from improving financial markets, which generated an investment return of £1.77bn, an increase of 84 per cent.