Lack of natural disasters pushes profits higher at Catlin

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Insurance firm Catlin, operator of the largest syndicate at Lloyd’s of London, has seen its full-year profits surge thanks to lower natural disaster claims.

The group posted a pre-tax profit of $339 million (£215.4m) for the year to 31 December, up from $71m the previous year, when insurers around the world were hit by near-record claims following a spate of disasters, including the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Chairman John Barton said: “Our underwriting performance in 2012 demonstrated that Catlin has the strategy and people in place to deliver excellent results. I am confident that Catlin will continue to produce good returns for its shareholders.”

However, Catlin said it now expects a financial hit of $225m from Superstorm Sandy, up from its initial estimate of $200m. It also said the grounding of the Costa Concordia cruise ship in January 2012 – in which more than 30 people were killed – had cost it $51m, compared with an earlier estimate of $35m.

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