UK insurance provider Hiscox has witnessed a 72% rise in profit before tax for the first half of its fiscal year, to GBP105.6 million, compared to the same corresponding period a year ago, which saw profit before tax reach GBP61.3 million.

The Lloyd’s underwriter attributed the successful results to its global markets division, which saw pre-tax profit climb to a staggering GBP87.5 million, from just GBP22.1 million in H1 2006. Meanwhile, net earned premium increased 17.5% to GBP471.9 million, from GBP401.7 million in 2006.

Robert Hiscox, chairman of Hiscox, commented: A record half-year result, despite a turbulent period of catastrophes in the UK and Europe. The acquisition of a US insurance company has added a further building block to our regional specialist business. We continue to build a strong insurance group balanced between reinsurance and insurance and global and regional business, well spread geographically and backed by powerful marketing to emphasize that we are different.

Earnings per share increased to GBP0.20, while earnings per share for the previous year stood at GBP0.12.