Argo Group net income falls to $24.8m
Argo Group International Holdings saw its profits fall to $24.8 million, or 71 cents per share, in the first quarter, a 32.4 per cent drop year-on-year.
However, the Bermudian-based company achieved an 18 per cent jump in its investment income, to $36 million, during the first three months of the year. Gross premiums written were $710.5 million, up 18.7 per cent, and the company’s combined ratio improved to 95.8 per cent, down from 99.1 per cent for the same quarter in 2017.
Mark Watson, chief executive officer, said: “The first quarter reflects the balanced and meaningful approach to growth and profit from our international and US operations, as well as our investments in people, technology and innovation.
“In addition, investment income continued as a consistent contributor as it grew by 18 per cent over the prior year’s results. This despite the increasingly volatile investment environment experienced through the first months of the year. Through the continuing strategy of disciplined, differentiated underwriting and above-average top-line growth, we feel very positive about the coming quarters and beyond.”
Catastrophe losses, net of reinstatement premiums, were $4.3 million, compared with $1.8 million a year ago.
Argo had a favourable prior-year reserve development of $2 million, compared with adverse development of $6.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. Last year’s first quarter was adversely impacted by the Ogden rate change in the UK and losses related to Hurricane Matthew.
Book value per share at the end of March was $52.86, down from $53.46 at the end of 2017. The company said the decline was “due primarily to the impact of unrealised losses on the portfolio in a rising interest rate environment”.
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