StockMarketWire.com - Specialist insurer Beazley posted a large rise in first-half profit after it successfully pushed through rises in premium rates and generated higher returns from its investments.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June jumped to $166.4m, up from $57.5m on-year.

Gross written premiums rose 12% to $1.48bn.

Beazley said it achieved a rate increase on its renewal portfolio of 5%, up from 3% on-year.

It declared an interim dividend of 4.1p per share, up 5.1% on-year.

'Claims concentrated largely in our marine and reinsurance divisions drove our combined ratio to 100%, but premium rates have adjusted accordingly and margins in many lines of business now look healthier than they have in some years,' chief executive Andrew Horton said.

'We expect to achieve double-digit growth over the full year, while continuing to reserve prudently.'

Horton said the company's investment returns in the second half were expected to be lower than the 3.3% rise posted in the first.



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