Natural catastrophes and Covid losses impact Argo’s earnings
Heightened catastrophe losses, together with losses related to the Covid-19 pandemic, impacted Argo Group International Holding Ltd’s fourth quarter earnings.
The Bermudian-based insurer reported a net loss of $19.7 million, or 57 cents per diluted share, for the quarter, compared to a loss of $103.3 million for the same three months in 2019.
For the full year, Argo’s net loss was $76.5 million, compared to a loss of $8.4 million the year before.
Kevin Rehnberg, chief executive officer of Argo, said the company was encouraged by improved underlying margins for the business.
He added: “While heightened 2020 catastrophe and Covid-19 losses resulted in a disappointing financial outcome, we made significant progress on our strategic objectives and achieved meaningful growth in most of our top-performing businesses – including Argo Pro, construction and inland marine. We expect a sustained positive growth trajectory and continued benefits from market conditions throughout 2021, with the capital to meet those opportunities.”
For the quarter, total catastrophe losses were $51 million, of which $38.3 million were related to natural catastrophes and $12.7 million was related to the pandemic.
Argo’s combined ratio improved to 110 per cent from 126.7 per cent for the same quarter in 2019, and this was primarily due to better loss ratio and improving expense ratio.
For the full-year the combined ratio was 106.2 per cent, an improvement on 109.1 per cent the previous year.
The company’s operating loss for the quarter was $18.2 million, or 52 cents per share, compared with $73.9 million for the same quarter in 2019.