February 3, 2017 / 7:31 AM / a year ago

BRIEF-Insurer Beazley's FY pretax profit rises 3 pct

Feb 3 (Reuters) - Beazley Plc

* Beazley plc results for year ended 31 dec 2016

* Profit before tax of $293.2m (2015: $284.0m)

* Return on equity of 18% (2015: 19%)

* Gross premiums written increased by 6% to $2,195.6m (2015: $2,080.9m)

* Combined ratio of 89% (2015: 87%)

* Rate reduction on renewal portfolio of 2% (2015: reduction of 2%)

* Prior year reserve releases of $180.7m (2015: $176.3m)

* Net investment income of $93.1m (2015: $57.6m)

* Second interim dividend of 7.0p (2015: 6.6p), taking full year dividends for year to 10.5p (2015: full year 9.9p). Special dividend of 10.0p (2015: 18.4p)

* Markets within which beazley operates faced major economic and political uncertainties in 2016 - uncertainties that had not diminished by year end

* In both britain and us, support for open markets and free trade is more challenged and economic cost may ultimately be high

* Direction of both monetary and fiscal policy in this volatile environment is hard to predict

* Reflecting this trend, brexit has been a source of concern and considerable uncertainty to many businesses in city of london

* For beazley concern is less acute, in part because less than 5% of our business is generated within mainland europe

* We had already planned to develop our presence in dublin to access more business in continental europe

* In november 2016, we filed an application with central bank of ireland to obtain approval for beazley re dac to become a european insurance company, enabling us to broaden our underwriting platforms to european clients

* Have accordingly further trimmed our exposures to energy risks, large scale commercial property, and reinsurance

* Have been building a strong platform in us for more than a decade now and it has served us well

* Profitable growth proved a challenge for many insurers in 2016 and we do not expect it to be any easier to achieve in coming year Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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