Underwriter Helios swung to a profit as acquisitions made last year led to jump in its capacity portfolio. For the 12 months to 31 December, the company reported a pre-tax profit of £0.61m from a loss of £0.41m a year earlier and adjusted net asset value per share rose to £1.90 from £1.60 a year earlier. The capacity portfolio increased 32%, underpinned by the six acquisitions of 2018 and a further acquisition in 2019 to date, the company said. The seven acquisitions added £15.9m to the capacity fund for the 2018 underwriting year, a 37% increase, the company added. Despite the fourth highest global insured losses from natural catastrophes on record at $76bn, the combined ratio fell to 98.6% from 106.9%, the company said. Looking ahead, the company said firmer market conditions should be reflected in the underwriting returns in the future. 'The strategy of building a capacity portfolio of the better available syndicates at Lloyd's should allow Helios to maintain its outperformance of returns on capacity against the Lloyd's market,' the company said. 'The recent soft underwriting conditions will distinguish the better managed syndicates which will deliver top quartile performance within the Lloyd's market which will reinforce the demand for these syndicates and assist in the recovery of the auction values. We anticipate more opportunities to acquire LLVs at attractive prices,' it added. At 8:02am: (LON:HUW) Helios Underwriting PLC share price was +2.5p at 137.5p
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