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LONDON (Reuters) - The Lloyd's of London insurance market returned to profit in 2012, bouncing back from a 516 million pounds loss in 2011 after claims fell on account of fewer natural disasters.
Pre tax profits during 2012 reached 2.77 billion pounds, Lloyds said, with net incurred claims falling to 10.1 billion pounds from 12.9 billion pounds a year earlier.
The financial performance of Lloyd's, which started out 324 years ago as a gathering of shipping merchants in a London coffee house, represents the combined results of about 80 competing insurance and reinsurance syndicates.
Listed companies which operate syndicates at Lloyd's include Catlin <CGL.L>, Hiscox <HSX.L> and Amlin <AML.L>.
Lloyd's said the 2012 investment return was 1.3 billion pounds, up from 995 million pounds a year earlier.
Claims in 2012 included a $2.2 billion hit from October's Superstorm Sandy in the Caribbean.
However, 2012 proved easier overall on the insurance industry than 2011, the costliest on record for natural catastrophes that included severe earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and tornadoes in the United States.
Lloyds Chief Executive Richard Ward called it "a strong result" in spite of the Superstorm Sandy hit.
(Reporting by Chris Vellacott, editing by Sinead Cruise)