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Argo exits cat business, declares Q3 profit

Bermuda-based Argo Group International Holdings Ltd has reported third quarter 2021 net income attributable to common shareholders of $19.8 million.

That compares to a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $25.1 million for the 2020 third quarter.

Operating income in the third quarter was $31.7 million, compared to an operating loss of $10 million for the 2020 third quarter.

Argo chief executive officer Kevin J. Rehnberg said: "Argo continues to pursue profitable growth, improve underwriting margins, reduce volatility and maintain disciplined expense management.

"The successful implementation of our strategy is evidenced in our financial performance. As we continue to optimise our business mix, the underlying strength of our core lines of business is more clear.

“We are particularly pleased that our efforts to reduce property catastrophe exposure have led to a significant improvement in our results, against the backdrop of the elevated catastrophe losses the insurance industry experienced this quarter.”

Gross written premiums decreased 1.6 per cent to $875.6 million during the quarter, compared to the third quarter of 2020.

Argo said the decrease is attributable to the businesses it is exiting, plans to exit or has sold, including sales of Ariel Re in November 2020 and businesses in Italy, Malta and the US grocery business, and re-underwriting actions across its catastrophe exposed lines of business.

In the ongoing businesses, premiums grew approximately 17 per cent during the quarter when compared to the third quarter of 2020.

The combined ratio was 100.3 per cent during the quarter, compared to 110.1 in the same quarter a year ago.

Total catastrophe losses in the quarter were $27.3 million or 5.6 points on the loss ratio. Natural catastrophes accounted for $24.3 million and losses related to the Covid-19 pandemic accounted for $3 million of the total catastrophe losses.

Catastrophe losses in the third quarter of 2020 were $71.2 million or 16 points on the loss ratio and included $16.9 million related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Net unfavourable reserve development for the quarter was $6.2 million, or 1.3 points on the loss ratio. Net unfavourable reserve development of $1.6 million added 0.4 points to the loss ratio in the third quarter of 2020.

Net investment income was $46.1 million compared to $42 million in the prior year third quarter.

Investment income from alternative investments was $24.2 million in the quarter and included gains from both private equity and hedge fund investments. Results for the prior year third quarter included gains from alternative investments of $19.3 million.

Kevin Rehnberg, CEO of Argo Group (File photograph)

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Published November 04, 2021 at 7:58 am (Updated November 04, 2021 at 7:58 am)

Argo exits cat business, declares Q3 profit

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