Two Lloyd’s insurers, Catlin and Novae, have today released interim management statements for the first quarter’s trading. Although both reports refer to an overall fall in rating levels (Catlin reports average weighted premiums down 2%, Novae says 2.5% for its portfolio), both companies are reporting that premium volumes were up, Catlin’s by 9% and Novae’s by 6%.

Catlin reports that the greater growth has been in the non-London hubs, which now account for 59% of the group’s total premium volumes. The strongest growth was in the International hub (i.e. excluding London, Bermuda and the USA), which reported premium volumes up 19% on 2013. Rates for catastrophe exposed business fell by 6%, but there were modest increases for non-catastrophe business and increases for casualty business of 6%. There were no material catastrophes during the quarter, although Catlin says that it is exposed to the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, without indicating an estimated quantum of loss to this event.

Investment income for the quarter was 0.9% on total funds of US$9.15 billion. More than 90% of the portfolio is invested in fixed income assets, cash or other short term assets, although the small “other assets” of $731m produced more than half of the overall investment return, with a quarterly return of  5.5%.

Commenting on the Group's performance, Stephen Catlin, Chief Executive of Catlin Group Limited, said "I am pleased to report that Catlin has achieved a good performance during the first quarter of 2014. Gross premiums written increased across all of our underwriting hubs, with continued strong growth from the International hubs.  In addition, there were no catastrophe losses during the quarter and overall loss activity was generally benign.

 "Rating levels are still adequate for most classes of business. Average weighted premium rates for catastrophe-exposed classes of business decreased by 6 per cent during the first quarter, but from record levels and we believe there is still good margin to be found in many of these classes.  Rates for all other business classes increased marginally, although average weighted premium rates for Casualty classes rose by 6 per cent.

 "I would like to express my thanks to Bruce Carnegie-Brown, who retired at the Annual General Meeting, for his contribution as the Group's Senior Independent Director and Chairman of the Compensation Committee. I would also like to welcome Claus-Michael Dill and Beatrice Hollond, who were elected by shareholders to the Board at the AGM.

 "Catlin has made a good start to the 2014 underwriting year. We remain committed to our global operating strategy, which stresses underwriting discipline, diversification and capital preservation, and we continue to look ahead with confidence."

The full Catlin report came be found here.

Novae reports that it has increased its property underwriting (up by 18% to £90m) at the expense of casualty (down by 13% to £41m). The marine, aviation and political risk division’s premium income was up 4% to £65m. Rates for property reinsurance treaty business fell by up to 15% on a risk adjusted basis, but there were small increases for US property (up 2%) and UK general liability (up 4%). The group has exposures to the loss of Malaysian Air MH370 and to the Sewol Korean Ferry accident. It is also expecting modest losses from the UK floods and winter storms.

The group’s assets stood at £1.2 billion at the end of March, and made a quarterly return of 0.4%. The portfolio was rebalanced away from government debt and towards corporate and other debt during the quarter and has an average duration of 12 months.

The full Novae report can be found here.