ACE Limited Reports $247 Million Q1 Net Profit

Bermuda’s ACE Limited reported that its net income (including realized losses) for the quarter ended March 31, 2003 totaled $247 million, compared with net income of $198 million for the comparable period a year ago.

Other highlights for the quarter were described as follows:
–Net income per share was $0.90 for the period compared with $0.70 for the same quarter last year, a gain of 29%.
— Net operating income was $279 million compared with $216 million for the same quarter in 2002(1).
— Net operating income per share was $1.02 for the current quarter compared with $0.77 for the same quarter last year, a gain of 32%.
— Net realized losses, net of tax, were $32 million, compared with net realized losses of $18 million for the same quarter in 2002. Unrealized gains totaled $79 million compared with $84 million for the same period in 2002.
— Diluted book value per share at March 31, 2003 was $25.14 compared with $24.16 at December 31, 2002, and $23.78 at March 31, 2002.(2)
— Net premiums written increased 48 percent over the same quarter a year ago, while net premiums earned increased 52% quarter on quarter.
— Operating cash flow was $600 million during the quarter compared to $144 million in the comparable quarter of 2002.
— Net investment income rose 3% to $206 million for the quarter compared with $200 million in the prior year’s quarter.
— The combined ratio was 90.6% for the quarter compared to 93.1% for the first quarter 2002.

ACE Chairman and CEO Brian Duperreault commented: “This was a good quarter for us by any standard of measurement. We were able to demonstrate the earning power we have been building over the last three years. We benefited from growth in earned premiums, improved underwriting margins and strong positive cash flow. However, low investment yields limited our growth in investment income to 3%, which continues to lag the growth in underwriting income. Our annualized ROE from operations was 16.7%.(3) In summary, an excellent start for the current fiscal year.”

The bulletin directed those having further interest in the company’s results to consult the “Financial Supplement, which is posted on the Company’s website: fin_supp_march_31_2003.xls,” which gives details and explains the footnotes “on individual segment performance, together with additional disclosure on reinsurance recoverable, loss reserves, financial guaranty portfolio, investment portfolio and capital structure.” The bulletin noted that “Due to the length of the above URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser’s URL address field.”

ACE Limited will host a live webcast of its first quarter earnings conference call today beginning at 8:30 a.m. EST. The public may access both the webcast, available on a listen-only basis, and the financial supplement at: “Please refer to our website under “Investor Information, Calendar of Events”, one half hour before, for further webcast details,” said the bulletin. “Individuals who access the webcast will be asked to identify themselves and their affiliation. A replay of the webcast will be available following the live webcast on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 until Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.”