Source - SMW
Property and casualty insurer Lancashire Holdings swung to profit Thursday from a loss a year earlier even as it grappled with a challenging quarter amid a 'high levels' of loss activity from catastrophes.   

  For the year ended 31 December, the company reported pre-tax profit of $33.6m, compared with a loss of $72.9m a year earlier.

  The return to the black for the year was helped by a 7.9% rise in gross written premiums to $638.5m. The company saw an underwriting profit as the combined ratio improved to 92.2% from 124.9% a year earlier. 

  The upbeat results come in the face of challenging in the fourth quarter, which was fraught with 'higher levels of loss activity than average, with the occurrence of hurricane Michael in October and a further series of catastrophic wildfires in California causing a tragic loss of life,' the company said. 

  A final dividend of $0.10 a share was declared, taking the total dividend for the year to $0.35 a share, helped by the special dividend of $0.20 declared earlier this year . 
 
Looking ahead, the company said it expected to see 'improved rates across many of our lines of business, and growth through new business where we have recently added new teams.'  
 
At 9:24am: (LON:LRE) Lancashire Holdings Ltd share price was +23.5p at 618.5p