Lloyd’s returns to profit in 2019

Market says it is in a “strong position” to respond to the impacts of the coronavirus.

Lloyd’s has revealed a pre-tax profit of £2.5bn for 2019, a significant step up from the £1bn loss reported in 2018.

Gross written premiums (GWP) remained relatively flat at £35.9bn (2018: £35.5bn) and its combined operating ratio improved to 102.1% in 2019 from 104.5% in 2018.

Lloyd’s further noted it had paid gross claims of £23.0bn (2018: £19.7bn), while its net resources grew to £30.6bn (2018: £28.2bn).

Meanwhile net investment returns increased to £3.5bn in 2019, up from £0.5bn in the preceding year.

According to Lloyd’s, its return to profitability was underpinned by sustained rate increases and improving underwriting discipline as well as strong performance across investments.

It added that the figures equates to a 2.6% reduction in GWP after excluding positive foreign exchange rate movements, which it noted indicated its continued underwriting discipline across the market.

The market further stated that it is “in a strong position to respond to the impacts of Covid-19 and support its customers and business partners”.

Last week, Lloyd’s rang the Lutine Bell to mark the closure of its London underwriting room.

Lloyd’s chief executive officer, John Neal, commented: “Whilst we are pleased to be announcing Lloyd’s return to profitability in 2019 and continued progress across our priorities, our primary focus right now is on supporting our customers and business partners in their time of need.

“I am confident in Lloyd’s ability to meet the challenges before it, and in doing so demonstrate the market’s unrivalled ability to support people, businesses and countries around the world in response to the far-reaching impacts of Covid-19.”

Future at Lloyd’s
He continued: “As we focus on supporting our business partners and customers during this time, it has also never been more important to accelerate progress on our ambition to create the most advanced insurance marketplace through the Future at Lloyd’s.

“We have sharpened our focus for 2020, prioritising initiatives that will ensure around 80% of Lloyd’s business is digitally supported, together with fast-tracking claims processing improvements and building the foundational data and technology infrastructure to support Lloyd’s future ecosystem.”  

Lloyd’s recently outlined its priorities for 2020, stating that it had raised £300m in debt to finance its Future at Lloyd’s programme.

Bruce Carnegie-Brown, Lloyd’s chairman, added: “The beginning of 2020 has proved exceptionally difficult as Covid-19 spreads rapidly around the world with devastating consequences for families, communities and the global economy. Now more than ever, our customers need us to be ready to support them through these challenging times.

“At Lloyd’s, we are laying the foundations to do this more effectively. By focusing on performance management, modernising the market and creating a market culture that will attract the best and brightest talent, we are making the market more resilient, more successful and better placed to meet our customers’ needs.”

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