PartnerRe shakes off catastrophe losses
PartnerRe Ltd reported net income of $72 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 — despite taking a $120 million hit from wildfires in California.
The Bermudian reinsurer, which is owned by Italian investment firm Exor, said operating losses were $28 million for the final three months of last year.
Net income received a boost from the company’s investments, which generated a return of $188 million, or 1.1 per cent, in the fourth quarter.
This included net realised and unrealised investment gains of $19 million and net investment income of $103 million. Interest in earnings of equity method investments of $66 million also contributed, driven by significant gains on certain real estate investments held by an investee, Almacantar Group.
Emmanuel Clarke, PartnerRe’s chief executive officer, said: “In 2017, in the face of industry insured losses in excess of $100 billion, we delivered solid financial results with adjusted net income of $250 million and an adjusted return on equity of 4.2 per cent.
“This remarkable performance demonstrates the value of our underwriting discipline, our portfolio construction with highly diversified and profitable business segments and our gross-to-net strategy.
“Together these have enabled us to deliver positive returns to our shareholders in a year marked by high frequency of severe catastrophes.”
Non-life combined ratio was 100.7 per cent for the quarter and 99.3 per cent for the full year. Catastrophe losses for the year were dominated by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as the wildfires, which between them generated losses of $569 million.
Despite that, PartnerRe was able to record full-year net income available to common shareholders of $218 million, thanks to strong returns from investments and the company’s specialty business.
Mr Clarke added: “We have started 2018 on a very positive note, with strong execution at the January renewals where we benefited from pricing improvements across a broad span of our portfolio with a double-digit rate increase in North America property cat rates along with improving profit margins in most of our specialty lines and other P&C segments globally.
“We have leveraged opportunities to expand our business relationships with our clients and brokers and further improve our portfolio, with double-digit year-on-year growth in non-life renewable treaty premium.
“I am very confident that we will continue to build on these achievements to deliver great results in 2018.”
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