Lancashire Holdings reported a pre-tax loss of $72.9m in 2017 compared with a pre-tax profit of $150.4m in the prior year after suffering 'damaging' catastrophe losses impacting the US and surrounding territories. Gross premiums written decreased by 6.7% to $591.6m while net premiums written totalled $398m, down from $458.7m. Group chief executive Alex Maloney said: 'In November I reported on the series of damaging catastrophe losses which had occurred over the summer months in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. coastal regions and the two sizeable earthquakes in Mexico.' 'Adding to what was already a significant loss year, the run of catastrophe losses continued in the fourth quarter with the occurrence of wildfires across California in essentially two separate sequences of loss activity.' 'These events have unfortunately resulted in one of the most severe years for catastrophe losses to the industry, with the sum of such insured losses in excess of $100 billion, placing 2017 in the top three years for aggregate catastrophe losses in recent history.' 'The 2017 industry losses were comprised of a series of smaller to mid-sized catastrophe losses, impacting the U.S. and surrounding territories in particular, rather than a single major devastating catastrophe loss.' 'These events occurred with greater frequency than has been the case in recent years. In such a challenging year, the Group has generated a negative RoE of 5.9%.' 'I expect 2018 to be another challenging year for our industry, but I am confident that we have further demonstrated that the Lancashire Group has the appropriate business model, talent and access to capital to maximise underwriting opportunities to benefit our shareholders.'
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