LLOYD's market swings to heavy GBP 2 billion loss for 2017

The Lloyd's market has posted a GBP 2 billion pre-tax loss for 2017, a severe deterioration from the GBP 2.1 billion profit it reported this time last year as the venerable institution's combined ratio swelled to a hefty 114%.

Lime Street was heavily scarred by the catastrophe losses of last year, which hit syndicates with GBP 4.5 billion of claims and pushed the market to an overall underwriting loss of GBP 3.4 billion.

Property was the worst performer by line of business, posting a massive GBP 1.8 billion loss a marked deterioration from a loss of GBP 202 million in 2016. It also clocked a calendar year combined ratio of 127.6%, which includes around 3.9 points of reserve strengthening.

While the catastrophe losses of H2 undoubtedly left their mark on the segment, LLOYD's recognized that attritional losses had put results for the year under pressure even in the first six months of the 2017.

Of the market's trademark specialty lines marine suffered the worst year, with its losses swelling from GBP 129 million in 2016 to GBP 469 million as the combined ratio jumped 16.2 points to 122.4%.

Despite the challenging underwriting performance, soaring global markets pushed investment income up nearly GBP 500 million to GBP 1.8 billion for the year, while the market's top line rose from GBP 29.8 billion to GBP 33.6 billion.

Lloyd's CEO Inga BEALE named 2017 an "exceptionally difficult" year for the market, while chairman Bruce CARNEGIE-BROWN said the return of catastrophes had proved that benign conditions had been masking "tough trading conditions".

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