Beazley able to cut its tax bill in half by opening Dublin office
Insurance company's profit rose £14m due to relocation
BEAZLEY, a specialist insurer which made a pre-tax profit of £100.7m (€114.5m) last year, halved its tax bill by opening a three-man office in Dublin and becoming tax-resident here.
The company said yesterday that its profit had risen by £14m (€16m) as a result of the company's move to Dublin in March 2009. This reduced the company's tax rate for the year to 12pc, compared with the British rate of 26pc that it had incurred in 2008.
Beazley's tax rate will rise to about 18pc this year as one-off benefits are phased out, the company said in a statement to the London stock exchange.
The company, which insures ships, energy firms and offshore wind farms, is one of several UK and US insurance companies to move their headquarters to Dublin from London or Bermuda, the Caribbean island which is home to most of the world's large reinsurers.
The Irish Government bowed to foreign pressure last week by announcing new legislation on transfer pricing, following concern overseas that multinationals were avoiding tax in their home markets by basing their operations here.
Willis Group, one of the world's largest reinsurance companies, announced in September last that it was moving to Dublin from Bermuda.
Beazley, which sells specialist insurance and has operations in Britain, the US, France, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, chose Dublin to incorporate a new holding company for the group, which remains incorporated in Jersey. It has also announced plans to establish an Irish reinsurer, Beazley Re.
The company said it had chosen Dublin over other reinsurance hubs and tax-friendly havens, such as Bermuda, "because it is within the EU and enjoys a respected legal, regulatory and tax environment".
The Dublin-based reinsurance operation only writes intra-group business and does not write any third-party business at its office in Santry.
Last year, the company said it planned to employ three people at its Dublin office.