Premiums go south, says Lloyd

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The Independent Online
Lloyd Thompson, international insurance and reinsurance broker, predicts that reinsur- ance premiums will continue to fall until at least mid-1996, while insurance premiums are set for a lengthier decline.

Ken Carter, chief executive, said: "Premiums are going south. There is surplus capacity in virtually every area of commercial insurance."

Overall, Lloyd Thompson's brokerage income rose 6 per cent to pounds 45m in the year to June, up from pounds 42.4m a year ago.

Stripping out the effects of the Triangle Holdings and Traveltest acquisitions (pounds 1.8m and pounds 1.5m, respectively), brokerage was slightly down on last year, while costs rose 9 per cent.

Pre-tax profits rose from pounds 18.2m to pounds 20.4m and, with the dividend rising to 9p, this represented the 14th consecutive year of profit and dividend growth since the company was founded, Mr Carter said.

"The industry has to consolidate, there are too many firms. We have a very strong balance sheet with pounds 40m of our own cash, and we are looking for opportunities, although we are not looking at anything in particular at the moment."

The focus of Lloyd Thompson's business was shifting from America and Europe to Asia and Latin America, where it was looking for reinsurance acquisitions. On the insurance side, it would seek to buy brokers that specialised in dealing with corporations and their "captive insurance businesses".

UBS analyst Chris Hitchings said the results were in line with expectations.