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March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Amlin Plc, the largest Lloyd’s of London insurer by market value, posted a bigger-than-estimated annual loss after the worst year for natural disasters on record.

The net loss was 149.9 million pounds ($237 million), compared with a 221.8 million-pound profit a year earlier, the London-based insurer said in a statement today. That missed the 146 million-pound loss estimated by 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, sending the shares down as much a 5.5 percent.

“Amlin has run too far too fast,” Sarah Lewandowski, a London-based analyst at Peel Hunt LLP with a “sell” rating on the stock, wrote in a note to clients today. “The group has consistently been overly positive on the rating environment, has grown into a softening market and paid the price, having picked up significant catastrophe losses.”

Amlin said it would miss analyst estimates in August after earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, windstorms in the U.S. and flooding in Thailand made 2011 the most costly year on record for insurers. Amlin sells more policies outside the U.S. than its rivals, making it worse hit by the catastrophes. The U.S. is typically the biggest source of revenue for Lloyd’s insurers.

“In 2011 in both New Zealand and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, we did incur slightly disproportionately greater losses than some of the business who when writing reinsurance tend to be a lot more U.S. focused,” Chief Executive Officer Charles Philipps said in the statement.

The shares dropped 5 percent to 333.5 pence at 9:09 a.m. in London trading, the biggest one-day fall since Aug. 2.

Roger Taylor, Amlin’s chairman, will retire following the company’s 2012 annual general meeting and will be replaced by Richard Davey, who has been on the board since 2005.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ambereen Choudhury in London at; Kevin Crowley in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at

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