The Bermuda-based Catlin Group Limited’s interim management statement for the first quarter of 2012 highlighted a 12 percent increase in gross premiums written to $1.642 billion for the period, compared to $1.465 billion in Q1 2011.
Additional highlights for the first quarter included the following:
• 54 percent of total gross premiums written by non-London/UK underwriting hubs, totaling $881 million (London/UK – $761 million)
• Average weighted premium rates for catastrophe exposed business increased by 10 percent; average weighted premium rates across entire portfolio increased by 4 per cent
• No catastrophe losses incurred during first quarter
• 0.6 per cent year-to-date total investment return
• Investment portfolio remains liquid and defensively positioned – investments and cash totaled $8.406 billion, up 4 percent from Q1 2011 ($8.120 billion).
The statement also noted: “Gross premiums written by the US underwriting hub increased by 17 percent, largely the result of the continued growth in business classes established by the hub over the past five years.
“The 27 per cent increase in gross premiums written by the International hubs reflects new reinsurance business written by Catlin Re Switzerland, which has entered its second year of operations.
“The 16 per cent decrease in gross premiums written by Catlin Bermuda reflects the decision not to renew certain Property reinsurance contracts whose rates did not meet the Group’s expectations. The aggregate capacity relating to those contracts is expected to be utilized later in the year.”
Although it was not significantly impacted by natural catastrophe loss events during the first quarter, Catlin acknowledged that the Group “incurred one large single-risk loss during the quarter: the grounding of the cruise ship Costa Concordia on 13 January. As announced in February, the Group estimates that losses arising from this event will amount to approximately $35 million, net of reinsurance.”
Chief Executive Stephen Catlin commented: “Catlin performed well during the first quarter of 2012, thanks to continued growth in gross premiums written and the absence of catastrophe losses. Nearly all areas of the business continue to grow, including our US and International underwriting hubs.
“It is gratifying that the market is heading in the right direction for nearly all classes of business after last year’s unprecedented series of catastrophe losses. I am also pleased to report that rates for Japanese reinsurance renewals at 1 April were slightly ahead of our expectations. We expect market conditions to continue to improve as the year progresses.”
He also took the opportunity to thank Sir Graham Hearne “for his many contributions to Catlin,” where he has served as the Group’s Chairman for the past nine years. “We will all miss his counsel, charm and experience,” Catlin continued.
He also noted that “John Barton succeeded Sir Graham as the Group’s Chairman following yesterday’s Annual General Meeting. John brings with him a wealth of experience at the top levels of companies in the insurance industry and other sectors, and we at Catlin look forward to working with John to continue to build a business for the future.”
Source: Catlin Group