Beazley's profit slumps, but reports rise in premium rate

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(Reuters) - Beazley Plc reported a slump in annual pretax profit as challenging market conditions hurt the Lloyd's of London insurer, while hurricanes, typhoons and wildfires led to hefty catastrophe bills.

Beazley, which provides casualty and property, cyber and political risk insurance, said pretax profit slumped 55 percent to $76.4 million pounds for the year ended Dec. 31. Gross written premiums jumped 12 percent to $2.62 billion.

"Although market conditions were challenging, depressing our earnings, we entered 2019 with positive premium rate momentum and higher interest rates that should deliver stronger returns going forward," Chief Executive Officer Andrew Horton said.

(Reporting by Muvija M and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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