Catlin improves

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The Independent Online

Catlin, the Lloyd's of London insurer, turned last year's first-half loss of $201m into a $231m pre-tax profit in the six months to this July as the world faced no major catastrophes.

Last year the insurer was paying out for Japan's massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. That saw total claims hit £1.5bn in the first half last year, but they were down at £900m in the same period this year.

Catlin lifted its dividend by 6 per cent to 14.7 cents, but customers are not similarly benefiting from the lower disaster costs. The chief executive, Stephen Catlin, said: "Rates for catastrophe-exposed business classes continue to increase." He hinted of possible acquisitions, adding that Catlin was "in a solid position to take advantage of opportunities as they arise".