The Bermuda-based Argo Group International Holdings managed to post a net profit of 51.1 million for the first nine months of 2008, despite posting an $8.8 million third quarter net loss.
Other earnings highlight listed by the Group for the third quarter were as follows
— Hurricane and portfolio losses during the third quarter contributed to a net loss of $8.8 million;
— Pre-tax operating income, or income before net pre-tax realized investment losses and other than temporary impairment charges, was $12.0 million compared with $11.3 million for the same three months of 2007;
— Total revenue increased 36 percent to $351.4 million compared to $258.7 million for the same three months of 2007;
— Gross written premiums totaled $477.7 million versus $332.9 million in the year-ago third quarter;
— Pre-tax losses attributable to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, including reinstatement premiums and net of estimated reinsurance recoveries, totaled $60.0 million;
— The investment portfolio incurred net pre-tax realized investment losses and other than temporary impairment write-downs totaling $18.4 million.
Highlights for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008 were given as follows:
— Net income was $51.1 million versus net income in the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007 of $120.3 million, which included an extraordinary gain of $67.3 million associated with negative goodwill from the merger with PXRE Group Ltd.;
— Pre-tax operating income, or income before net pre-tax realized investment losses and other than temporary impairment charges, was $82.8 million compared with $75.2 million for the same nine month period in 2007;
— Total revenue increased 24 percent to $908.7 million compared to $734.6 million for the same nine months of 2007;
— Gross written premiums totaled $1.2 billion versus $896.5 million in the first nine months of 2007;
— Book value per share at Sept. 30, 2008 was $44.10 versus $43.81 per share at Sept. 30, 2007.
CEO Mark E. Watson III, commented: “Although the third quarter proved to be a challenging one for our Company and the entire property and casualty insurance industry, Argo Group demonstrated that our risk management practices were effective under the stress of multiple catastrophic events, including a historic downturn in global financial markets. The losses produced by two major hurricanes as well as those affecting our investment portfolio were within our risk tolerance and had less of an impact on Argo Group than many of our competitors.
“In the wake of Gustav and Ike, it was imperative we also focus our attention on serving the needs of our insureds affected by the hurricanes,” said Watson. “I’m pleased to say our claims representatives were on the ground promptly so that they could respond to the needs of claimants, many of whom sustained devastating losses as a result of these storms,” he added.
Argo Group will conduct an investor conference call starting at 11 a.m. EST (12 p.m. AST) tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. A live webcast of the conference call can be accessed by visiting Argo Group’s investor relations Web site at: www.argolimited.com, and clicking on the following links: Investors – News & Events – Webcasts. Participants inside the U.S. and Canada can access the call by dialing 888-713-4205 (pass code 97496250). Callers dialing from outside the U.S. and Canada can access the call by dialing 617-213-4862 (pass code: 97496250).
The full report and additional information is available on the Argo Group’s web site. In addition a webcast replay of the conference call will be made available on the web site shortly after its conclusion.
Source: Argo Group
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