- Insurer Hiscox said it expected to deliver pre-tax profits of in the range of $150m to $170m amid continued deterioration in the insurance markets following the catastrophes of last year.

The pre-tax profit guidance of $150m to $170m for the first half, compared with a $163.6m profit reported in the same period a year earlier.

The scale of deterioration had been significant, with industry loss estimates having 'increased materially' since the catastrophes of last year, including Typhoon Jebi in Japan and Hurricane Michael in Florida.

Reserve releases, however, in the first half were expected to be materially lower than last year due to the absence of prior year releases from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which totalled $25 million in the first six months of 2018.

Hiscox also said that conditions were improving with good rate momentum for most lines in Hiscox London Market. Hiscox Re & ILS has seen rates improve significantly amid reduced capacity in the retrocession market.

'The Group also expects Hiscox Retail's combined ratio to be within the normal range of 90-95% at the half year, with growth for the segment in line with the first quarter. As stated in the May trading statement, the Group expects growth for Hiscox Retail to trend towards the mid-point of the normal 5-15% target range in the second half,' Hiscox said. Hiscox will publish its Interim Results on Monday 29 July 2019.

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