Argo Group report $28.9m profit

  • Earnings report: Mark Watson, CEO of Argo Group

Catastrophe losses impacted earnings at Argo Group, however the company reported a $28.9 million profit, or 95 cents per share, for the fourth quarter.

That was down from the $32.9 million, or $1.07 per share, during the corresponding period in 2016.

Gross written premiums were $606.3 million, an improvement of 21.5 per cent. However, adjusted operating income for the quarter was $300,000, or one cent per share, compared with $19.8 million, or 64 cents per share, a year ago.

Mark Watson, Argo Group chief executive officer, said: ďIt has been a noteworthy year for the Property and Casualty industry, with significant catastrophe losses, continued low interest rates, new tax laws in the US, and continued merger and acquisition activity.

ďIn this market, Argo continues to emerge as a leading, innovative specialty insurer, demonstrated by the nearly 25 per cent growth in gross written premium in 2017.

ďAnd while catastrophe losses impacted our underwriting margins, our strong investment performance and capital management framework helped us generate net income and growth in book value per share.Ē

Net pre-tax catastrophe losses were $34.8 million once readjustments to third quarter losses, and catastrophe related premium charges were factored.

The Bermudian-based company recognised a $20.2 million tax benefit related to the revaluation of its net deterred tax liabilities due to the reduction of US corporate income tax.

In the fourth quarter, the groupís combined ratio was 106.7 per cent, up from 98.8 per cent for the same period in 2016.

For the full year, Argo Groupís gross written premiums were $2.7 billion, a rise of 24.6 per cent, and its profit was $50.3 million, or $1.64 per share, down from $146.7 million year-on-year. Adjusted operating income was $5.5 million, or 18 cents per share, down from $121 million.

The book value of Argo Groupís shares was $61.48 at the end of 2017, that was 2.9 per cent higher for the year.