Filed Under:Agent Broker, E&S/Specialty Business

Lloyd’s of London takes ‘massive hit’ from low investment return

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to Lloyd's of London, Thursday, March 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to Lloyd's of London, Thursday, March 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)

(Bloomberg) -- Lloyd’s of London reported a 30% drop of full-year profit as the world’s largest insurance market was hurt by continued pressure on pricing and the lowest investment returns since at least 2001.

Earnings declined to 2.1 billion pounds ($3 billion) for 2015 as income from investments, primarily fixed income, sank 60% to 400 million pounds, according to the company’s annual report Wednesday. Weaker pricing in 2015 is expected to continue this year, it said.

“We’ve taken a double hit from reduced margins in underwriting and lower investment yield,” Chief Executive Officer Inga Beale said in an interview with Bloomberg Television Wednesday. “On the investment side we saw a dramatic reduction in 2015 that was a massive hit” to earnings.

Related: Q&A: Lloyd's CEO Inga Beale

Beale said the low interest-rate environment and a “healthy” return on capital of 9.1% continued to attract new money into the industry, placing further pressure on insurance rates that have already seen double-digit declines.

It’s so-called combined ratio rose to 90% from 88.4% amid higher claims in the energy sector and the explosion at Tianjin Port in China. An increase in the ratio indicates a deterioration in profitability.

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