Axis reports $198m loss for fourth quarter
Axis Capital Holdings Limited made a net loss for the fourth quarter of $198 million, or negative $2.37 per diluted common share, compared to loss of $38 million, for the same period in 2017. The combined ratio increased to 117.3 per cent, a rise of 16.6 points year-on-year.
Gross premiums written increased by $76 million, or 7 per cent.
The Bermudian-based company’s profit for the full year was $400,000, which compared to a loss of $416 million in 2017. The combined ratio was 99.9 per cent, down 13.2 points compared to 2017. Gross premiums written were $6.9 billion, up $1.3 billion, or 24 per cent, year-on-year.
Commenting on the fourth-quarter results, Albert Benchimol, president and chief executive officer, said: “In 2018, we delivered improved full-year underwriting performance, both with and without cats. Following three quarters in which we achieved tangible progress towards delivering on our financial goals, however, heavy attritional property and catastrophe activity led to unsatisfactory results in the fourth quarter.
“Throughout the past year, we took a number of significant actions to strengthen our portfolio and, over the past few months, we’ve accelerated these initiatives. Additionally, we anticipate that recent improvements in pricing and market discipline will also have a positive impact on the pace of our improvements.”
Mr Benchimol said Axis has made significant progress in advancing its strategy and in strengthening our business.
He added: “We furthered our relevance and positioning in key markets, including transitioning our London operations to a leading position at Lloyd’s with the integration of Novae, and we scaled up a transformation programme that is improving our efficiency and our agility in a rapidly evolving market.”
The book value per diluted common share of Axis Capital in the fourth quarter was $49.93.