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Cat losses take toll on Alterra profits

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Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd profits slipped more than $70 million during the second quarter as major catastrophe events continued to take their toll in 2011.

The re/insurer posted a net income of $32.6 million, or 30 cents per share, for the second quarter compared to $103.4 million, or $1.13 per share, for the same period last year.

But the company reported a net loss of $14.1 million, or 13 cents per share, for the first six months of this year versus net income of $139.8 million, or $1.88 per share, in the first half of 2010.

Net operating income for the second quarter of 2011 was $39.6 million or 37 cents per share compared to $58.8 million or 64 cents per share for the corresponding quarter last year.

Annualised net operating return on average shareholders' equity for the second quarter of 2011 was 5.7 percent.

Net operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2011 was $14.8 million or 14 cents per share versus $99.5 million or $1.33 per share for the same period in 2010.

Annualised net operating return on average shareholders' equity for the six months ended June 30, 2011 was 1.1 percent. Marston Becker, president and CEO of Alterra, said: “Alterra achieved a solid $39.6 million of net operating income in the second quarter despite recognising over $49 million of property catastrophe net losses.

“In a year that continues to be heavily influenced by the size and frequency of major property catastrophe events, Alterra's diversified underwriting platform has performed very well. Net operating earnings for the first six months of the year are in positive territory and our capital position has improved over the most recent quarter, putting Alterra in what we believe is a strong position going into the US hurricane season.”

During the opening six months of 2011, property and casualty gross premiums written of $1.2 billion, representing an increase of 54.9 percent or $421.9 million, while net premiums earned were up 49.7 percent or $241.6 million at $727.6 million, reflecting the impact of the merger with Harbor Point - whose premiums were not included for the entire 2010 period.

The company also recorded a combined ratio on property and casualty business of 103.5 percent compared to 86.2 percent for the same period of 2010.

Property catastrophe event and significant per-risk net losses stood at $165.9 million ($155.8 million net of reinstatement premiums) versus $29.9 million last year, most of which affected the reinsurance and Alterra at Lloyd's segments.

Under the board-approved share repurchase authorisation, Alterra repurchased 311,000 shares during the second quarter of 2011 at an average price of $21.51 per share for a total of $6.7 million. Share repurchases approved by the board for the six months ended June 30, 2011 were 6,497,150 common shares at an average price of $21.89 per share for a total of $142.2 million.

Shareholders' equity was $2.8 billion as of June 30, 2011, an increase of 2.6 percent from March 31, 2011. Diluted book value per share as of June 30, 2011 was $25.98, an increase of 2.5 percent from March 31, 2011.

l Alterra has announced that Alterra at Lloyd's Limited will underwrite books of marine and professional indemnity business into Alterra's wholly-owned Lloyd's Syndicate 1400.

In addition, Alterra announced the appointment of Bart Grefe as marine underwriting manager, Paula McManus as professional indemnity underwriting manager, Andrew Thorp as cargo underwriter, and Christopher Burgess as professional indemnity underwriter, all of Alterra at Lloyd's.

Scene of destruction: Debris is strewn about a neighbourhood in Bridgeton, Missouri, following an tornado in the area, one of many in the US this spring that have sparked huge claims for Bermuda insurers and reinsurers.
Alterra CEO Marston Becker
ALTERRA Q2 REPORT CARD

Net income: $32.6 million compared to $103.4 million in 2010

Gross premiums written: $563.9 million compared to $399 million in 2010

Combined ratio: 93.7 percent compared to 83.3 percent in 2010

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Published August 03, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 03, 2011 at 10:16 am)

Cat losses take toll on Alterra profits

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