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Lloyd's returns to profit after pandemic hit

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Lloyd’s has reported a £1.4 billion ($2.6 billion) first-half profit, turning around its performance after the pandemic drove a year-earlier loss of £400 million ($750 million).

Gross written premium increased 2.5% to £20.5 billion ($38.4 billion) supported by higher rates, customer retention and new growth for the first time in four years.

The market paid out £9.4 billion ($17.6 billion) in claims, including to customers impacted by COVID-19 where 80% of claims notified to date have been paid.

“Against this backdrop, Lloyd’s has successfully repositioned the market for sustainable, profitable growth as evidenced in this strong set of financial results,” CEO John Neal said.

“I am encouraged to see that market performance has improved as a result of our ongoing remediation efforts. This, as well as our exceptionally strong balance sheet, brings Lloyd’s performance in line with our global peer group.”

Premium rates increased 9.9%, continuing a trend of 15 consecutive quarter of positive movement, while the combined operating ratio improved to 92.2% from 110.4%, driven by both the loss and expense ratios.

The combined operating ratio was 97% excluding COVID-19 for the 2020 full year.

This year’s underwriting result bounced back to a profit of £1 billion ($1.9 billion) compared with a year-earlier loss of £1.3 billion ($2.4 billion).

Lloyd’s says it maintains strong capital and solvency positions, with net resources increasing by £2.6 billion ($4.9 billion) to £36.5 billion ($63.4 billion).

“Alongside performance, we are making great strides on all our strategic priorities which focus on improving the culture in the market, the Future at Lloyd’s digital transformation, and sustainability, climate and inclusion which underpin our purpose,” Mr Neal said.