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Argo records $22.8m profit

Argo Group International Holdings Ltd’s profits held up well during the second quarter as the company adapted to tough market conditions.

The company’s net income dropped slightly to $22.8 million, or 82 cents per share, from $26.1 million, or 86 cents per share, during the same period last year.

But overall for the first half of 2011, the insurer posted a net loss of $71.7 million, or $2.61 per share, versus a net income of $46.8 million, or $1.53 per share, in 2010.

Argo Group’s CEO Mark Watson said: “While the last six quarters have presented the industry with a number of challenges in the form of catastrophic events, intense competition and economic uncertainty, I’m pleased with how our company has responded.

“While we’ve continued to contract our top line in response to market conditions, we’ve also taken steps to position the company for growth, such as establishing new operations in Brazil and Paris, and launching a specialty division within Syndicate 1200.”

Total revenue for the quarter was $336 million, compared to $362.4 million last year, and $633.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2011 versus $734.7 million the previous year.

Net pre-tax operating income, or pre-tax income before net realised investment gains and losses and foreign currency exchange gains and losses, was $4.4 million versus $18.6 million in the second quarter of 2010;

Estimated pre-tax losses attributable to second quarter catastrophes net of estimated reinstatement premiums totalled $31.9 million, compared to $15.1 million a year earlier.

The combined ratio net of catastrophes and prior year reserve development was 97.2 percent versus 100.9 percent from the same period in 2010 and including catastrophe and prior year loss development, the combined ratio was 108.6 percent versus 102.7 percent for the same period in 2010.

For the first six months of the year, estimated pre-tax losses attributable to first half 2011 catastrophes net of estimated reinstatement premiums totalled $144.9 million, compared to $43.9 last year.

For the first half of 2011 and 2010, the combined ratio net of catastrophes and prior year reserve development was 98.7 percent and 100.2 percent, respectively. Including catastrophe and prior year loss development, the combined ratio was 126.6 percent versus 103.8 percent for the same period in 2010.

Meanwhile, book value per share was $56.65 at June 30, 2011, an increase from $54.76 at June 30, 2010.

Argo Group CEO Mark Watson

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Published August 05, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 05, 2011 at 10:03 am)

Argo records $22.8m profit

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