February 16, 2017 / 7:35 AM / 6 months ago

Insurer Lancashire reports lower full-year profit

Feb 16 (Reuters) - Insurer Lancashire Holdings forecast another challenging year ahead after posting a 12-percent fall in full-year profit, hurt by continuing pricing pressure and a slight fall in gross written premiums in its LLoyd's and marine businesses.

The property and casualty insurer, which writes policies for heavy-duty assets such as oil rigs, ships and aircraft, said pretax profit fell to $150.4 million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, from $171.7 million a year earlier.

Lancashire's gross written premiums fell about 1.1 percent to $633.9 million in the period, while its combined ratio improved to 76.5 percent from 72.1 percent in 2015.

"Whilst we expect market conditions to remain difficult for the foreseeable future, which requires discipline and patience to navigate, our strategy has the ability to respond across the insurance cycle," CEO Alex Maloney said in a statement.

The company said it was carrying a "bit more" capital buffer on Jan. 1 than it typically would, which would allow it to take advantage of any opportunities up ahead. (Reporting by Esha Vaish and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru)

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