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Argo profits rise by one third

First-quarter profit surged 33 per cent for Bermudian insurer Argo Group.

Net income was $36.7 million, or $1.19 per diluted share, compared to $27.7 million, or 89 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2016.

The company said it had benefited from the acquisition of island-based reinsurer Ariel Re and chief executive officer Mark Watson said the boost in profits had been achieved despite headwinds.

The company took a $10 million hit from the combination of the Ogden rate change, and claims from Hurricane Matthew.

“First-quarter 2017 net income per share grew 33.7 per cent to $1.19 per share, benefiting from strong results in our investment portfolio, our US Operations, and within our International Segment, the inclusion of Ariel Re,” Mr Watson said.

“Despite challenges in the Lloyd's market and pre-announced charges related to claims for Hurricane Matthew and the Ogden rate change, our book value per share grew 8.4 per cent from March 31, 2016.”

Argo said gross written premiums climbed 15.2 per cent to $598.6 million from $519.8 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Argo reported under the segments of US and International Operations for the first time.

Gross written premiums were up 16.5 per cent to $335 million in the US and by 13.5 per cent to $263.6 million in the International. Excluding Ariel Re, which closed in February 2017, overall gross written premiums were up 9.3 per cent.

Adjusted operating income was 71 cents per diluted share, 96 cents per share in the first quarter of 2016. The current quarter included $16.5 million or $0.43 per diluted share in pre-announced non-recurring charges and claims from fourth quarter 2016 catastrophe events.

Book value per share increased to $60.84, up 1.9 per cent from $59.73 at the end of last year.

Mark Watson, CEO of Argo Group

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Published May 04, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 03, 2017 at 8:45 pm)

Argo profits rise by one third

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