Selective Insurance Group Reports Q2 Earnings

August 6, 2003

New Jersey-based Selective Insurance Group, Inc. reported a 140 percent increase in net income to $19.7 million, or $0.72 per diluted share, for the second quarter ended June 30, 2003, compared with $8.2 million, or $0.31 per diluted share for the same period last year.

Operating income(1) from continuing operations increased more than 100 percent to $17.6 million, or $0.64 per diluted share for the period, compared with $8.6 million, or $0.32 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2002. In addition, book value per share grew 12 percent to $26.37 at June 30, 2003, from the same time last year.

The company’s overall statutory combined ratio improved almost five points to 99.6 percent for the second quarter 2003, down from 104.3 percent for the same period last year.

Selective Insurance Group chairman, president and CEO Gregory Murphy, noted, “Our ongoing pricing and underwriting initiatives, coupled with favorable weather, produced a statutory combined ratio below 100.0 percent for the quarter. Our core commercial lines operation generated an underwriting profit, on a statutory basis, with a combined ratio of 99.3 percent, down 3.6 points over the same period last year. The strong results reflected 13 straight quarters of double-digit renewal price increases (13 percent this quarter). Our commercial lines premium growth was 16 percent for the quarter, driven by the price increases, a 35 percent increase in new business to $62 million and better retention of renewal business. Our commercial lines outlook remains favorable as increases in premiums continue to outpace loss trends.

“We are also pleased with the results from our personal lines operation, including the flood business, which generated an overall statutory combined ratio of 100.5 percent for the quarter, almost 10-points ahead of the 109.8 percent posted in the second quarter of 2002. Continued improvements in underwriting and pricing led to a nine-point drop in our total personal automobile statutory combined ratio, to 102.3 percent for the quarter, with our New Jersey personal automobile business generating a statutory combined ratio of 100.7 percent for the period.

“The improving fundamentals in our industry are clearly demonstrated in the amount of cash generated by operating activities. For Selective, cash flow was up almost 40 percent, to $100 million year-to-date 2003, over the same period last year. The higher level of cash helped drive investment income up 15 percent, year-to-date, to $56.8 million.”

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