RLI Reports Record Q2

July 14, 2004

Illinois-based RLI Corp. announced quarterly net earnings of $18.4 million ($0.71 per diluted share), a 19% improvement over the $15.4 million ($0.60 per diluted share) posted in the second quarter last year. The total dollar and per-share amounts were second quarter records.

Quarterly operating earnings of $17.1 million ($0.66 per share) rose 21% from last year’s $14.1 million ($0.55 per share) result, and set all-time total dollar and per-share records.

Through six months, RLI posted net earnings of $35.3 million ($1.35 per share), an 18% gain over last year’s $29.8 million ($1.16 per share). Operating earnings of $32.5 million ($1.25 per share) were 15% better than the $28.3 million ($1.10 per share) reported last year. These set all-time midyear total dollar and per-share records.

As of June 30, shareholders’ equity reached $569.7 million, book value per share was $22.59, and assets stood at $2.2 billion.

RLI’s quarterly underwriting profits were $11.8 million on a 90.7 net GAAP combined ratio versus the $7.4 million gain on a 93.4 combined ratio for the same period last year. The company’s property segment was the catalyst behind these results; it posted a 66.1 combined ratio. The casualty segment recorded its sixth straight profitable quarter with a 95.9 combined ratio. Surety results improved more than 11 points, achieving a combined ratio of 100.8.

Net premiums earned grew 11.7% for the quarter, to $126.9 million, and resulted in consolidated revenue of $142.1 million, an increase of 12.4%. Gross premiums written rose 5% from the same period one year ago, to $199.6 million. Segment performance included an increase in surety gross premiums of 16%, a rise in casualty writings of 6%, and flat results for property business.

“We like the way 2004 is going; it is still an attractive market for
specialty writers such as RLI,” said RLI President & CEO Jonathan Michael. “Our disciplined property underwriters have been able to continue posting outstanding, profitable results. Casualty writings are still benefiting from a strong marketplace that offers opportunity for both growth and positive results. Surety’s growth is encouraging as it comes from commercial business, an area that has traditionally posted profits.”

RLI’s rating for its principal insurance subsidiaries was upgraded to A+
(Superior) by A.M. Best Company. This upgrade applies to all three RLI insurance subsidiaries: RLI Insurance Company, Mt. Hawley Insurance Company, and RLI Indemnity Company.

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