Argo Group profit jumps 48% to $46m

  • Mark Watson, CEO of Argo Group

Argo Group International Holdings saw its net income improve to $46 million in the second quarter, compared with $30.9 million for the same period in 2016.

The Bermudian-based company also saw 22 per cent increases in gross written premiums to $687.2 million, and net investment income to $43.6 million.

Mark Watson, chief executive officer, said: “Argo Group’s results for the first six months of 2017 reflect strong investment returns and profitable growth in our US, Bermuda, and Latin America operations.

“Book value per share grew 8.2 per cent over the past 12 months and the annualised return on average shareholders equity was 9 per cent at June 30. These results demonstrate continued value creation for our shareholders through our focus on specialised products and distribution globally.”

On February 6, the insurer and reinsurer completed its buy-up of Ariel Re, and since that date Ariel Re results have been included in Argo Group’s consolidate international operations results.

Argo’s net income for the quarter was $1.48 per share, up 48 per cent on the same period a year ago. Adjusted for investment gains, net income was $1.31 per share, up 9.2 per cent.

Book value per common share is now $62.65, up 4.9 per cent since the start of the year.

The company’s combined ratio was marginally higher, rising 1 per cent to 96.6 per cent.

Estimated pre-tax catastrophe losses were $4.5 million, compared to $22.7 million a year ago. While estimated pre-tax catastrophe losses for the first half of the year are $6.3 million, down from $26 million during the same period in 2016.

Before the earnings report was released, Argo Group shares closed in New York at $60.20, up 35 cents, or 0.58 per cent.