The Lloyd's of London insurance market on Wednesday posted its second-biggest loss on record due to major natural catastrophes including Japan's earthquake disaster and floods in Thailand.
The company made a pre-tax annual loss of £516 million ($822 million, 615 million euros) in 2011, Lloyd's said in a results statement, as the group was hit by soaring claims. That compared with a profit of £2.195 billion in 2010.
"Lloyd's incurred total net claims of £12.9 billion during 2011, including £4.6 billion of catastrophe claims, making it the largest catastrophe claims year on record for the 324-year-old insurance market," the group said.
"This follows a series of major catastrophes including flooding in Australia in January, the second earthquake in New Zealand in February, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March and the floods in Thailand beginning in July."
The group added that total claims for the entire insurance industry totalled $107 billion last year.
"Make no mistake, 2011 was a difficult year for the insurance industry," added chief executive Richard Ward in the earnings release.
"Given the scale of the claims, a loss is unsurprising but it reflects what we're here to do -- help communities and businesses rebuild after disaster.
"It is also reassuring that, despite this loss, our financial strength has been maintained."
Lloyd's had suffered its worst losses in 2001, when it logged a record pre-tax loss of £3.1 billion following the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
Source: AFP European Edition