U.K.’s Hiscox Posts Record $154M Net Pre-tax Profit

March 22, 2004

London’s Hiscox plc, which writes coverage both through the Lloyd’s market and independently, posted record pre tax profits for 2003 of £83.4 million ($154 million).

In addition to the record earnings the preliminary earnings report gave the following highlights:
— Group combined loss ratio, excluding WTC, 79.3 percent (2002: 91.8 percent).
— Hiscox plc gross written premium income up 18 percent to £797.4 million [$1.468 billion].
— Net earned premium up 42 percent to £547.5 million [$1.01 billion].
— Post-tax return on capital of 21.7 percent (2002: 8.7 percent).
–Final dividend increased 21 percent to 2.9 p [5.34 cents] per share.
— Exceptional 12 months for Lloyd’s Syndicate 33, with a firm year end renewal season. Gross written premium applicable to Hiscox plc up 17 percent to £541.4 million [$997.26 million] (2002: £461.8 million [$850.6 million]). Profit before tax of £64.5 million [$118.8 million] (2002: £13.9 million [$25.6 million]).
— UK Retail showed steady growth with gross written premium of £174.6 million [$321.6 million] (2002: £147.6 million [$271.8 million]) and profit before tax of £18.5 million [$34 million] (2002: £6.4 million [$11.8 million]).
— A strong outlook for 2004 which has started well. London Market prices and retail rates remain firm. A robust pipeline of earnings is expected to continue to flow through from previous years.

Chairman Robert Hiscox commented: “It is a great pleasure to report record profits and solid growth. Healthy earnings will continue to flow through from these good years and 2004 has started well. We will grow the business and its profitability by disciplined underwriting and by searching for new business in our chosen specialist areas.”

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