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Hiscox profits grow on retail insurance market

Hiscox’s decision to focus on retail rather than wholesale insurance markets has helped the company to report a 13 per cent jump in first half profits.

The company said on Monday that pre-tax profits – excluding the impact of foreign exchange – rose to £134m. Still, the picture including the impact of FX was less pretty, with profits halving to £103m as an £87m FX profit last time around became a £31m loss this year.

The dividend increased by 12 per cent to 9.5p per share.

Conditions in wholesale insurance and reinsurance markets have been getting tougher due to a long period of low prices, so Hiscox has instead been focusing on its offering to individuals and small businesses, especially in the US where premiums grew by 50 per cent.

Chief executive Bronek Masojada said:

We are managing the cycle and driving retail growth, as our long-held strategy of balancing the portfolio between volatile big-ticket business and steady retail business continues to deliver.

Despite tough market conditions we are finding opportunities.