The UK insurance market Lloyd's of London expects to turn in a full year profit for fiscal 2005 despite the likely deluge of claims resulting from the recent US hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

The insurance market’s upbeat assessment came as it unveiled a 21% hike in H1 pretax profits, to GBP1.38 billion for the six months to June 30. However, the company admitted that the performance in the second half of the year would to a large extent be determined by the impact on claims of the two recent hurricanes in the US.

Lloyd’s recently anticipated a loss of around GBP1.4 billion attributable to the storms, but the insurer remains optimistic of a full year profit providing there are no further unforeseen catastrophic events. Indeed the insurer hinted that increased prices for property, marine and energy risk in parts of the US could bolster its underwriting for 2006.

Lloyd’s is a market made up of around 60 individual insurance syndicates. Lloyd’s says it is unlikely that any of these syndicates will collapse as a result of the hurricane losses.