LONDON Feb 29 Lloyd's of London
insurer Brit said its 2011 profit fell by a third as 142 million
pounds ($225 million) in natural disaster claims outweighed
steep cost cuts pushed through by the group's new private equity
Netherlands-based Brit, acquired in late 2010 by buyout
firms Apollo and CVC, had a pretax profit for the year of 75.8
million pounds, down from 116.4 million pounds the previous
year, it said on Wednesday.
The decline was driven by a surge in catastrophe claims, led
by a 41.6 million pound loss related to the Christchurch
earthquake in New Zealand. That more than offset a cost-cutting
programme which reduced management expenses by 34.5 million
pounds, or 20 percent.
"Brit delivered a solid result in 2011 against a weak
market," said Chief Executive Mark Cloutier, who took over from
long-standing Brit CEO Dane Douetil in October.
Insurers absorbed a total of $108 billion pounds in
catastrophe losses in 2011, making it the industry's
second-costliest natural disaster year on record after 2005,
when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, according to
reinsurer Swiss Re.
Most of Brit's peers in the Lloyd's of London market have
also reported sharply lower profits, reflecting their heavy
exposure to catastrophe risk.