Aspen Insurance has posted net income after tax of $220m, or $2.51 per share, for the third quarter of 2010, compared to $347.6m, or $4.25 per share, for the same quarter of 2009.

Operating income after tax for the third quarter of 2010 was $180.7m, a decrease of 46.1% compared to $335.1m in the same quarter a year ago.

Gross written premium were $1.664bn compared to $1.661bn in the third quarter of 2009.

Net earned premium for the third quarter of 2010 increased 3.9% to $1.4bn from $1.35bn in the same period last year.

Aspen Insurance CEO Chris O’Kane said, market conditions remain highly challenging; in these circumstances the company’s underwriters are hard at work in identifying those few segments where good profits are available and increasing our exposure to them.

Elsewhere, it is a question of cutting back top line volume, rigorous risk selection and maintaining a very defensive underwriting posture, O’Kane said.