Giant strides forward

Last April, Lloyd's announced a pre-tax profit of £1.89bn for the year 2003, an increase of 127% on 2002's £834m. And the Central Fund was fortified by a 49% increase to £711m. This result surpassed the performance of many of Lloyd's competitors, as chief executive Nick Prettejohn was keen to point out.

Lloyd's combined ratio dropped to 90.7%, compared with 100.7% for US property and casualty insurers, 101.2% for US reinsurers, and 101.4% for European insurers and reinsurers. Lloyd's has

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