Lloyd’s of London Posts Profit After Two Years of Losses

(Bloomberg) -- Lloyd’s of London, the world’s biggest insurance market, returned to profit in the first half after two full-year losses.

The more than 300-year-old corporation made a profit before tax of 2.3 billion pounds ($2.9 billion) in the first six months of 2019, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The period was the best half year since at least 2014.

“We recognize the importance of continued focus on performance management to maintain this momentum throughout the balance of 2019 and in future years,” Chief Executive Officer John Neal said in the statement.

Gross written premiums -- the revenue that Lloyd’s generates from writing insurance -- climbed to 19.7 billion pounds from 19.3 billion pounds a year earlier.

Despite this, Lloyd’s combined ratio climbed to 98.8% from 95.5%, meaning Lloyd’s paid out a larger part of its premiums in claims and on expenses than it did a year earlier. When a combined ratio rises to 100%, insurers no longer make a profit from underwriting.

In a separate statement, Lloyd’s announced that Chief People Officer Annette Andrews will leave at the end of the year.

“It was very much her decision and reflecting her personal thoughts,” Neal said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “She was absolutely right for the challenges that Lloyd’s was facing at the time.”

Lloyd’s will publish the results of an independent survey on the market’s culture on Sept. 24. The move is a key part of the corporation’s response to allegations of sexual harassment after a Bloomberg report revealed a culture of harassment ranging from inappropriate comments to sexual assault.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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