Lloyds of London profit halves as claims rise

 
City A.M. Reporter
The Lloyd's of London insurance market said its profit for the first six months of 2010 more than halved, hit by higher catastrophe claims and weaker investment returns.

Lloyd's had a first half pretax profit of £628m, down from £1.32bn in the same period last year, it said on Tuesday.

Lloyd's, which traces its origins back 322 years to a London coffee house where wealthy merchants sold shipping insurance, said it had to absorb more claims in the first half of 2010 than in any other six month period as a result of a string of catastrophes including the Chilean earthquake.

The market was also hit by 15 per cent drop in investment returns as it switched to less risky assets in the face of volatile financial markets.