Bermuda-headquartered specialist insurer Hiscox has recorded a 186% rise in pre-tax profits for fiscal 2006, to GBP201.1 million from GBP70.2 million the previous year.

<p>The group also saw its earnings per share on profit after tax surge 167% to GBP0.42, while gross written premium income increased by 30.8% to GBP1.1 billion, up from GBP861 million the prior year. <br /><br />Most of Hiscox&#0039; subsidiaries around the globe recorded a strong performance. Hiscox International saw pre-tax profits reach GBP51.9 million after recording only a GBP6.2 million profit in fiscal 2005. However, Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe delivered pre-tax profits of GBP32.6 million compared to GBP43.4 million the previous year, after investing significantly in advertising and the further expansion of the company&#0039;s regional network.<br /><br />It has been a very good year for Hiscox, commented Robert Hiscox, chairman of Hiscox. Our decision to increase our catastrophe reinsurance book by opening in Bermuda after two bad catastrophe years and with every pundit forecasting more disasters, has paid off handsomely. In addition, our retail businesses continue to grow in the UK, Europe and the USA. We will continue to focus on our specialist business lines around the world, aiming to build a balanced overall account with sustainable profitability.<br /></p>