Financial highlights:Profit before tax of £3,846 million (2006: £3,662m); Combined ratio of 84.0% (2006: 83.1%) compares favourably with an estimated average of 93.8% for US property and casualty insurers 94.7% for US reinsurers 96.0% for European insurers and reinsurers and, 85.1% for Bermudian insurers and reinsurers; 34% increase in central assets to £1,951 million (2006: £1,454m); Investment return up 21% to £2,007m (2006: £1,661m); and · release of surplus reserves of £856m (2006: £
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