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Maiden posts $75m loss after reserve charge

Maiden Holdings Ltd made a net loss of $74.7 million in the fourth quarter of last year as the company had to bolster reserves for its commercial auto line of business.

The Bermudian reinsurer said the $120.4 million charge included a provision for adverse development realised during the quarter, as well as “a more conservative view of the ultimate exposures on commercial auto liability through the portfolio”.

Maiden, which has offices on Front Street, had announced the charge last week.

The net operating loss of $69.7 million, or 81 cents per share, bettered the 98 cents per share loss consensus forecast of analysts tracked by Yahoo Finance.

The combined ratio — reflecting the proportion of premium dollars spent on claims and expenses — was 117.4 per cent, compared to 99.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The cost of deaths on US roads rocketed 12 per cent in 2016 to around $432 billion and there was a 6 per cent increase in road fatalities last year, on top of a 7 per cent jump in 2015.

“Despite the significant challenges presented in the commercial auto business, we reported a modest profit for the year and have continued to grow our business and investable assets while strengthening investment income,” Art Raschbaum, Maiden's chief executive officer, said.

“We remain focused on improving the profitability of our business and believe the fourth quarter reserve charge will help us to stabilise underwriting performance as we enter 2017.

“Importantly, our 2016 underwriting year expected loss ratios reflect solid profitability. While the market remains competitive, we were able to expand our business in 2016 by leveraging our strong franchise and value-added products and services.

“We believe our prospects for continued disciplined growth are strong. Additionally, we are in an excellent position to improve our cost of capital, and will explore opportunities to refinance our existing indebtedness in 2017 at an improved rate.”

Net income for the year was $15.2 million, or 19 cents per share, compared to $100.1 million, or $1.31 per share, in 2015.

Gross premiums rose 6.3 per cent to $2.8 billion during the 12-month period, while the combined ratio for the year was 103.2 per cent, worsening from 99.3 per cent in 2015.

Net investment income for the year was $145.9 million, up 11.3 per cent from the $131.1 million recorded in 2015.

Book value per share at year end was $12.12 per share, up 3 per cent for the year. Maiden shares closed at $16.50 in Nasdaq Stock Exchange trading last night.

Art Raschbaum, CEO of Maiden Holdings

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Published February 28, 2017 at 10:01 am (Updated February 28, 2017 at 10:01 am)

Maiden posts $75m loss after reserve charge

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