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ACE Q3 profit rises 43 percent

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By Rebecca Zuill

ACE Limited reported record quarterly operating income of $857 million, improved global P&C net premiums, and P&C underwriting income up 67 percent with a P&C combined ratio of 86.5 percent. ACE also reported that operating return on equity is 13 percent

Evan Greenberg, chairman and chief executive officer of ACE Limited, stated in the results release: “ACE had another record quarter driven by exceptionally strong underwriting results and double-digit constant-dollar global P&C premium revenue growth. We produced $857 million in after-tax operating income and our operating ROE was 13 percent. Per share book value increased 3.4 percent and is now up 2.6 percent for the year.

“We achieved a P&C combined ratio of 86.5 percent. While we benefited from a relatively benign quarter for catastrophes, more fundamentally, we experienced margin improvement in both North America, as a result of better pricing and mix of business, and internationally, as a result of product and geographic mix. We also continued to benefit from our portfolio management capabilities, which are an essential component of good underwriting management, combined with our broad product offering, physical geographic presence and culture of execution discipline.

“Global P&C net premiums written, which exclude agriculture, grew nine percent in the quarter and over 10.5 percent on a constant-dollar basis. We experienced revenue growth in all of our insurance businesses — commercial P&C, accident and health, personal lines and life — and in all territories — North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. We are firing on all cylinders and continuing to achieve strong, broad-based growth despite the economic and political headwinds we are confronting in all regions of the world.”

The Q3 report highlights include record operating income of $2.49 per share, up 23.9 percent from prior year, net income of $916 million, up 43.1 percent; year-to-date net income up 42.2 percent, book value per share up 3.4 percent and tangible book value per share up 3.9 percent in the quarter. P&C current accident year underwriting income, excluding catastrophe losses, was up over 175 percent with a combined ratio of 89.8 percent.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, net income was $8.02 per share, compared with $5.67 per share for 2012. Operating income was $6.95 per share, compared with $6.23 per share for 2012. Book value increased $687 million, up 2.5 percent from December 31, 2012, and tangible book value increased $197 million, up 0.9 percent. Operating return on equity was 12.3 percent year to date. The P&C combined ratio for the nine months ended September 30, 2013, was 87.5 percent.

The ACE Bermuda building.

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Published October 23, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 22, 2013 at 8:35 pm)

ACE Q3 profit rises 43 percent

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