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Hiscox ups dividend despite lower FY'17 profit

Hiscox Ltd. will pay higher dividends despite reporting a significant decline in profits for 2017, which it called an "historic year for natural catastrophes."

The Bermuda-based, London-listed insurer declared a final dividend of 19.5 pence per share, bringing the total ordinary dividend per share for 2017 to 29.0 pence per share, compared to 27.5 pence per share paid in 2016. The final dividend will be paid June 12 to shareholders on the register as of May 11.

Hiscox reported full-year 2017 profit attributable to owners of the company of £26.3 million, down from £337.0 million in 2016. Gross premiums written for the period totaled £2.55 billion, compared to the year-ago £2.40 billion, while claims and claim adjustment expenses rose to £1.93 billion from £1.00 billion.

The insurer had reserved $225 million for claims from natural catastrophes in 2017.