Catlin is leaping despite bigger hits from Sandy and Concordia


Catlin's annual profits rose almost fivefold last year despite the company paying out more claims on Superstorm Sandy and the Costa Concordia disaster than originally expected.

The Lloyd’s of London insurer said pre-tax profits hit $339 million (£216 million), up from  $71 million in 2011 when the industry suffered its second costliest year on record.

Catlin said it expects to pay out $225 million in claims relating to Sandy, which hit North America in October, compared with an earlier estimate of $200 million.

The Costa Concordia disaster in January 2012 is also expected to cost the company $51 million, compared with a previous $35 million.

Investment returns fell to 2% from 3.1% a year earlier although the group’s combined ratio strengthened from 102.6% to 90%, meaning that it made a 10p profit on every pound of premiums taken.

Finance director Paul Jardine waded into the row over Solvency II, new capital rules that are set to govern insurers. “They estimate red tape and compliance costs have already reached  £3 billion across the UK industry", he said. “We didn’t create the financial crisis so shouldn’t be punished.”