Insurance market Lloyd's 2010 profits tumble
The Lloyd's of London insurance market said Wednesday that profits sank last year due to major claims arising from earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand, floods in Australia and the BP oil spill.
Pre-tax profits tumbled 43 percent to £2.20 billion ($3.5 billion, 2.5 billion euros) in 2010 from £3.87 billion in 2009, Lloyd's said in a results statement, as it was also hit by lower investment returns.
"In 2010, Lloyd's made a profit of £2.2 billion despite facing significant claims from the tragic earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand, the floods in Australia and the loss of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico," Lloyd chairman Lord Levene said.
"The catastrophes of 2010 and 2011 have shown the crucial role insurance plays in helping communities rebuild after a crisis."
"We must also keep in mind that insurance is part of a wider financial services industry that is essential to Britain's economic recovery. We look to the government to protect the competitiveness of our industry and its contribution to both society and the economy."
Lloyd's said that 2011 has already proved to be an "extraordinary" year of disasters, following Japan's devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami which has sparked a nuclear crisis.
"2011 has already been an extraordinary year of tragic natural disasters," added Lloyd's chief executive Richard Ward.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to those affected and we are working hard to make sure claims are dealt with swiftly so communities in Japan, New Zealand and Australia can rebuild and recover."
© 2011 AFP