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Argo profits fall 28%

Insurance and reinsurance firm Argo Group yesterday reported $27.9 million in profits for the second quarter of the year.

The net income was nearly 28 per cent down on the $38.6 million recorded for the same quarter last year.

The latest figure is equivalent to 98 cents per share, compared to $1.32 per share last year.

Argo said gross written premiums were up 7.2 per cent to $557 million from $520.1 million for the second quarter of 2014.

Argo Group CEO Mark Watson said: “The improvement in our underwriting income is a direct result the ongoing focus on underwriting as well as a disciplined approach to profitable growth in our niche markets.”

In the wake of the results, the firm declared a quarterly cash dividend of 20 cents a share, to be paid at the start of next month.

During the quarter, the company repurchased more than 136,000 shares in its common stock at an average price of $49.80 per share.

The firm's excess and surplus lines of business reported gross written premiums of $196.2 million, up $20.4 million (11.6 per cent) on the $175.8 million in the second quarter of last year.

The commercial specialty segment logged gross written premiums of $92.5 million, up $8.9 million (10.6 per cent) compared to same period in 2014.

The firm's Lloyd's of London syndicate had gross written premiums of $168.2 billion for the second quarter, up $4.7 million (2.9 per cent) on the same period last year.

Argo said: “Growth versus a year ago primarily reflects the marine and energy business and other new initiatives.”

Argo's international specialty segment — which includes its property reinsurance business as well as insurance business based in Bermuda and Brazil — had gross written premiums of $100.5 million, up $3.1 million or 3.2 per cent on the second quarter last year.

Argo Group CEO Mark Watson

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Published August 05, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 04, 2015 at 8:31 pm)

Argo profits fall 28%

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