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Beazley 2022 net profit down 48% but buoyed by cyber business

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -British insurer Beazley Plc said on Thursday that net profit fell 48% in 2022, hurt by investment losses but buoyed by strength in its cyber insurance business.

The insurance industry in 2022 has faced challenges from expenses related to the war in Ukraine, soaring inflation, and storms like Hurricane Ian in the United States.

Net profit of $160.8 million compared with profit of $308.7 million in 2021, and came "despite a challenging geopolitical environment and ... investment losses", said chief executive officer Adrian Cox.

Beazley said its 2022 combined ratio - a measure of an insurer's profitability - was 89%, in line with its own guidance for the "high 80s". It said it also expects "high 80s" in 2023.

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A level below 100% indicates an underwriting profit and a lower percentage indicates higher earnings.

Premiums in its cyber risks division rose to $1.156 billion, up from $814.3 million in 2021, which Cox told Reuters was in part due to increased demand in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

(Reporting by Tom Sims, Editing by Rachel More)