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Insurer Alea posts losses on road to extinction

UK-listed but Bermuda-based reinsurance provider Alea has revealed that it made a loss in the first six months of the year as it works to wind up its failing business.

Alea delivered a pretax loss of $10.7 million in H1 2006, as it continues to feel the effects of the costly claims season in the second half of 2005 and a lack of new business. The insurer made a profit of $19.5 million for the same period last year.

Net insurance premium revenue fell to $209.7 million from $610.7 million, Reuters reports. The dramatic fall comes as Alea has stopped writing new business or renewing pre-existing policies.

The Caribbean-headquartered business has been forced to close its operations after suffering a fatal blow from its exposure to last year’s heavy US hurricane season. Alea said it still hopes to attract a buyer to recover some shareholder value, but in the absence of such would manage its current coverage responsibilities until its books were cleared.