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Lloyd's of London posted a pre-tax profit of £2.77bn last year after claims fell on account of fewer natural disasters. The return to the black follows the "costliest year on record" for natural catastrophes in 2011, which led to Lloyds posting a loss of £516m for that year, the insurer said in its annual results. With earthquakes in Japan, floods in Thailand and Australia and Hurricane Irene hitting the US, 2011 was the second most expensive on record for the insurance sector. However, 2012 proved easier overall on the insurance industry than 2011. Lloyd’s paid £10.1bn in claims in last year, down from £12.9bn in 2011. Claims included $2.2bn (£1.4bn) from Superstorm Sandy, which hit the Carribean and US last year and was the third-most costly natural disaster on record according to Munich Re, becoming one of the largest claims in the 325-year history of the insurer. Lloyd’s central fund, which pays claims if an insurer fails, rose 4.1pc to £2.5bn. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/insurance/9956266/Lloyds-profits-jump-to-2.77bn-on-fewer-catastrophes.html