Lloyd's of London cautions on Brexit as H1 pre-tax profits rise
LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The Lloyd's of London insurance market posted a 22 percent rise in pre-tax profits to 1.46 billion pounds ($1.91 billion) in the first half of 2016, as it cautioned on the impact on its business of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
Lloyd's of London, which houses around 90 insurance syndicates, focuses on specialty insurance such as marine, energy and political risk.
Investment returns also rose, to 1.8 percent, from 0.6 percent a year ago, Lloyd's said in a trading statement on Thursday.
Lloyd's of London chairman John Nelson has said the world's leading specialty insurance market would have to operate some business from the EU after Brexit if Britain fails to keep so-called passporting rights for financial companies to sell products across the bloc.
The Brexit vote was "a major issue for us to deal with," Chief Executive Inga Beale said in the statement.
"We are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe."
Lloyd's saw a sharp rise in its combined operating ratio to 98 percent, compared with 89.5 percent a year earlier. A figure below 100 percent indicates an underwriting profit.
The insurance group said claims had increased in 2016, mainly due to wildfires in Fort McMurray, Canada.
($1 = 0.7653 pounds) (Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Adrian Croft)
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