But success partially offset by decrease in premiums

AXIS Capital has announced net income for the second quarter of $252m, compared with $223 m for the equivalent period in 2006.

Net income for the first six months of the year was $479m, compared with $419m for the previous half year.

Operating income for the second quarter of 2007 was $256m, compared with $232 m for the second quarter of 2006.

Operating income for the first six months of 2007 was $483m, compared with $437m last year.

However, gross premiums written in the quarter decreased to $959m, from $995m for the second quarter of 2006 - a reflection of the impact of upward premium adjustments last year, according to the company.

Year-to-date, gross premiums written increased 5% to $2,262m - with increases in the reinsurance segment offsetting reductions in more competitive lines within the company’s insurance segment.

The combined ratio for the quarter was 75.4%, compared with 78.3% in the same period last year. The combined ratio for the year-to-date was 78.1%.

John Charman, chief executive officer and president of AXIS Capital, said: “We are pleased to report that we have delivered an annualised return on average common equity of 24% for the first half of this year against the backdrop of increased non-US catastrophe activity.

“In the quarter, we closed the acquisition of Media Pro, which represents a significant milestone in continuing to strategically broaden our specialty franchise in the small and middle market.”