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by : Alpha Insurance Analysts Limited

Lloyd’s has today reported a profit of £1,667 million for the first six months of 2014 as improved investment returns and exchange rate movements contributed to a stronger overall result for the Lloyd’s market. Whilst these results show an improvement over the equivalent period in 2013 of £1,379 million, the market conditions are becoming increasingly challenging. Pricing continues to be under pressure from the additional capital which has entered the industry as a result of the long period of low interest rates, this has led to an increasingly competitive environment. Gross written premiums for the six months to June 2014 were £14,863 million (June 2013: £15,496 million) representing a decrease of 4.1%. However, adjusting for the impact of exchange rate movements in underlying currency produces a small increase in gross written premium of 0.8%. There has been a marked improvement in terms of investment income, up £0,039 million to £0,064 million compared with the first six months of 2013 returning to the levels seen in 2011 and 2012. With a combined ratio of 88.2% (June 2013: 86.9%), major claims activity in aggregate was lower than the same period last year, the first half of 2014 also saw a number of headline weather-related losses, including cold weather events in North America and Japan, windstorm and tornado losses in the US, windstorm Ela and the UK floods. The aviation sector was impacted by the tragic disappearance in March of Malaysia airlines flight MH370. The second half of 2014 has already experienced further aviation losses with the shooting down of flight MH17, the attacks at Tripoli International Airport, the loss of an Air Algerie flight to Mali and the crash of a Trans Asia Airways plane in Taiwan, however, these events are not expected to have a material impact on the Lloyd’s market.