AXIS grows reinsurance segment by 62% YOY in Q4
Bermuda-based AXIS grew gross premiums written in its reinsurance segment by 62 percent year on year in the fourth quarter of 2017 excluding the Novae acquisition.
Including the $616.9 million Novae acquisition which took place at the start of the quarter, gross premiums written in the reinsurance segment increased 65 percent year on year to $203 million.
Growth was driven by the credit and surety, catastrophe, property, agriculture, and motor lines. The increases in credit and surety, catastrophe, and agriculture lines were primarily driven by favourable premium adjustments. Increases in the property and motor lines were driven by new business. For the whole of 2017, gross premiums written grew 8 percent to $2.4 billion in the reinsurance segment.
The insurance segment grew gross premiums written by 47 percent year on year to $893 million in the fourth quarter, mainly driven by the Novae acquisition.
The increase in the insurance segment included gross premiums written of $241 million attributable to property, professional lines, and marine lines associated with the Novae acquisition. In addition, gross premiums written increased by 7 percent due to new business in the accident and health, professional lines, and liability lines. The increases were partially offset by a decrease in the property lines following AXIS’ exit from some US retail insurance operations and a decrease in the marine lines.
For the whole of 2017, gross premiums written in insurance grew 15 percent year on year to $3.1 billion.
AXIS reported a net loss attributable to common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2017 of $38 million compared with net income of $131 million for the same period a year ago. For the full year the net loss was $416 million compared with net income of $465 million for the same period in 2016.
“The fourth quarter of 2017 extended the themes established earlier in the year: Significant catastrophe activity, higher attritional property losses, the ongoing effects of the Ogden rate change in the UK, and the cumulative impact of several years of intense competition,” said AXIS Capital CEO Albert Benchimol.
“Although our loss for the year is clearly disappointing, we operate in an industry that experiences occasional high-severity events. To balance against this, we manage our risks to ensure we remain strong and able to provide the seamless, high-quality protection our clients and partners in distribution have come to expect of us.
“The actions we have taken over recent quarters to reduce earnings volatility have helped to temper the impact to our financial results in a period where industry catastrophe losses were in excess of $100 billion,” Benchimol noted.
AXIS reported a combined ratio of 100.7 percent for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 96.7 percent in the prior year quarter. For the full year 2017 the combined ratio was 113.1 percent compared to 95.9 percent in 2016.
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