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Feb 3 (Reuters) - Lloyd's of London insurer Beazley Plc reported a 3 percent rise in full-year pretax profit and pointed to "significant" growth opportunities in the United States and other markets outside London amid a challenging environment for insurers.
"Brexit has been a source of concern and considerable uncertainty to many businesses in the City of London," Chairman Dennis Holt said in a statement.
"For Beazley the concern is less acute, in part because less than 5 percent of our business is generated within mainland Europe, but also because we had already planned to develop our presence in Dublin to access more business in continental Europe," he said.
Beazley has been working to get European insurance licences for its Irish reinsurance business to allow it to operate throughout the European Union, even if Lloyd's loses access to the bloc.
The underwriter, which provides marine, casualty and property insurance and reinsurance, said its pretax profit rose to $293.2 million, for the year ended Dec. 31, from $284.0 million a year earlier. Gross written premiums rose 6 percent to $2.19 billion.
The rise in profit was driven by higher investment return and strong underwriting performance, Beazley said.
Analysts had expected pretax profit of $243 million, according to company supplied consensus estimate, based on the projections made by brokers.
Beazley also said it would pay a special dividend of 10 pence per share on top of a second interim dividend of 7 pence.
Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri