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RenRe profits rise 11%

RenaissanceRe: Wrote less catastrophe business amid weak pricing

RenaissanceRe’s profits rose more than 11 per cent in a first quarter notable for the completion of the reinsurer’s acquisition of Platinum Underwriters.

RenRe recorded $167.8 million in net income, up from $151 million in the corresponding quarter of last year, the company said.

The company also posted operating earnings of $126 million, or $3.10 per share, comfortably beating the $2.43 per share consensus forecast of analysts tracked by Yahoo Finance.

RenRe’s combined ratio — reflecting the proportion of premium dollars spent on claims and expenses — was 55.9 per cent, as the company benefited from a relatively light quarter for catastrophe claims.

The firm’s chief executive officer Kevin O’Donnell described the quarter as solid.

“This has been a milestone quarter for RenaissanceRe as we closed on the Platinum acquisition,” Mr O’Donnell added in RenRe’s earnings statement. “The integration has gone smoothly and we have received a very positive reception from our clients and brokers. Our ability to offer a broad suite of products and flexible capital options is stronger than ever.”

RenRe completed its acquisition of fellow Bermuda reinsurer Platinum on March 2 this year and the results include Platinum’s operations from that date through March 31.

RenRe booked $40.4 million of corporate expenses associated with the Platinum purchase, including $28 million of compensation-related expenses.

The company recognised $83.6 million of identifiable intangible assets and $191.7 million of goodwill in connection with

the acquisition of Platinum.

Book value per common share increased $5.06, or 5.6 per cent, in the first quarter to $95.21. RenRe’s shares closed at $102.47 at the close of regular New York Stock Exchange trading yesterday, before the results were announced.

Amid declining reinsurance rates, RenRe reduced the amount of business it wrote in the first quarter, with gross premiums written falling 8.7 per cent to $643.6 million. In the catastrophe reinsurance segment, gross premiums plunged 16.8 per cent to $389.2 million, “primarily driven by the continued softening of market conditions, including reduced risk-adjusted pricing for the January renewals, and the company’s underwriting discipline given prevailing terms and conditions”, RenRe stated.

RenRe made $81.3 million on investments, from the sum of investment income and net realised and unrealised gains, compared to $53.7 million in the first quarter of 2014.