Due to high premiums and low catastrophe claims, the Lloyd's of London insurance market has recorded a 34% increase in its pre-tax profit for the first six months of 2007.

The British insurance market has earned GBP1.8 billion in the first half of the year, compared to GBP1.35 billion in the prior-year period. This was driven by the favorable rating environment in 2006, together with the release of prior claims reserves, but balanced by the weaker, but still profitable, underwriting conditions experienced in the first half of the year, Lloyd’s said.

It recorded a combined ratio of 82.9% for the first half of this year, compared to 86% in the same period of last year.

The market has recorded an excellent set of results. Today’s numbers are further proof of the progress that has been made by the market in recent years, commented Lloyd’s chairman Lord Levene. Lloyd’s continues to outperform its major international peer groups and is in robust shape to meet the challenges ahead.