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Ace profits soar by 21%

Ace CEO Evan Greenberg

Insurance giant Ace yesterday posted operating income of $788 million for the second quarter of the year.

The firm said that was equivalent to $2.40 a share — above the consensus analyst forecast of $2.29 a share.

Ace added its net income rose 21 per cent to $942 million.

Property and casualty net premiums written, excluding agriculture, rose 6.4 per cent or 13.2 per cent in constant dollars.

And net investment also went rose to $562 million, compared with $556 million in the same period last year, an increase of 3.1 per cent in constant dollars.

Ace chairman and chief executive officer Evan Greenberg said: “Ace had an excellent second quarter with earnings per share essentially flat with the prior year as a strong dollar impacted both revenues and earnings.”

He added that the firm had also produced “strong” underwriting results, with income from the area of $478 million, a rise of 5.5 per cent in constant dollars but flat on prior-year results.

Mr Greenberg said: “Investment income was up three per cent in constant currency — a terrific result given the interest rate environment.

“Global property and casualty net premiums written grew about 6.5 per cent or over 13 per cent when adjusted for foreign exchange as we took advantage of growth opportunities in the US, Asia and Latin America.”

The firm is set to merge with Chubb in a move that will see the Ace name disappear in favour of Chubb.

Mr Greenberg said: “We are moving quickly and the senior leadership of both companies has formed teams that already engaged in integration planning.

“The sense of excitement and energy from the leadership of both companies is inspiring.”

Mr Greenberg said the firm was set to file the required merger and takeover information with the US Securities and Exchange Commission by the end of this month, while the firm was “on track” to gain regulatory approval for the merger.

He added: “In sum, I’m even more convinced of the potential opportunity our combined companies represent in terms of talent and capabilities.”