Lancashire pre-tax profits fall

Lancashire Holdings posts pre-tax profits of $150.4m for the year to the end of December - down from $171.7m in 2015.

Gross premiums written fell to $633.9m from $641.1m while net premiums written totalled $458.7m - down from $481.7m.

Group chief executive Alex Maloney said: "The 2016 year proved a turbulent one for the global political and macroeconomic environment and the insurance market remained very challenging.

"Risk capital remains abundant, and there is continuing pressure upon pricing and terms and conditions.

"Against this background I am particularly pleased with the results for both the fourth quarter and the full year.

"The RoE of 2.8% for the quarter and 13.5% for the year is an exceptional outcome in this environment and a tribute to the dedication and hard work of everyone across the business.

"As I have stressed previously, we have maintained a tight focus on skillful and disciplined underwriting and overall risk management.

"Our principal focus has been to balance risk and return whilst serving the needs of our clients and their brokers.

"These results prove that, even in the current difficult times, we have relevance, our model works and is resilient.

"At 1 January, in line with our expectations and previous communication, we successfully renewed our core book across the Group, including at our Lloyd's platform.

"At Lancashire we pride ourselves on fostering a culture which supports and develops the careers of truly talented people within the insurance sector, and we strive to afford our employees an opportunity to develop those talents creatively within a nimble and dynamic business culture.

"Over the last year the business has focused on rebuilding and reinvigorating our Lloyd's platform and I am delighted to be able to welcome Jon Barnes, who joined us in late December 2016, as the designated Lloyd's active underwriter for Syndicate 2010, subject to regulatory approval.

"We have also recently announced the appointment of Andrew McKee who will be joining us in June 2017, as the new Chief Executive Officer for our Lloyd's managing agency.

"Whilst we expect market conditions to remain difficult for the foreseeable future, which requires discipline and patience to navigate, our strategy has the ability to respond across the insurance cycle.

"We are well equipped to meet the needs of our clients and to generate acceptable returns for investors, whilst having the flexibility to capitalise quickly on new opportunities as they arise."

At 8:17am: (LON:LRE) Lancashire Holdings Ltd share price was +51.5p at 732p