The Bermuda-based PXRE Group Ltd. announced significantly higher profits for the first quarter ended March 31, 2003 with net income for the quarter up by 30 percent to $23.6 million, compared to $18.2 million in the first quarter of 2002. PXRE also announced that Jeffrey L. Radke, who currently serves as President and COO, would take over as CEO effective July 1, 2003, when his father, company founder Gerald Radke, will step down.
Other highlights in the first quarter earnings report included:
— Net income per diluted share of $1.04 compared with $1.51 in the year-earlier period.
— Annualized return on equity was 21.9%.
— Book value per share increased 2% during the quarter to $20.76 per share
— Gross premiums written were $112.47 million, compared to $125.357 million in Q1 2002
— Net premiums written were $93.344 million compared to $103.661 million in Q1 2002
— Gross revenues were $91.522 million, compared to $64.985 million in Q1 2002
— Combined ratio was 71.7%, compared to 63% in the same period last year
Commenting on the announcement, Jeff Radke stated “We are very pleased to announce the highest quarterly profit in PXRE’s history. The strong performance this quarter of Catastrophe and Risk Excess business once again demonstrates that PXRE holds a strong competitive position in its core specialty business and that we are well positioned to continue to take advantage of the existing favorable reinsurance market conditions.”
The bulletin noted that “As a result of the continued strong growth in PXRE’s net premiums earned, revenues rose 41% for the quarter compared with the year-earlier period. Most notably, net premiums earned in PXRE’s core Catastrophe and Risk Excess segment increased 62% while the Finite segment increased 143% for the quarter compared with the first quarter of 2002.”
PXRE indicated that Jeff Radke will become President and CEO, but did not indicate who, if anyone, might replace him as COO. It also said that Gerald L. Radke “will remain Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors and will continue to serve an active role as Chairman of the Underwriting Committees of the Company’s reinsurance operating subsidiaries.”
Gerald Radke stressed that “Our Company’s strong performance over the 12 months since Jeff’s appointment as President has clearly shown that he has the talent and vision to lead PXRE into the future. I am extremely proud to be able to hand over control of the Company’s operations to Jeff and happy to have the opportunity to focus more of my business effort on underwriting, the part of the business that I enjoy the most.”
Robert W. Fiondella, Chairman of the Board’s Human Resources Committee, also commented: “Since Jeff became President and COO last year, the Board had had further opportunity to assess the quality of his leadership abilities and the level of respect he commands in the marketplace and within the Company. This evaluation has confirmed that Jeff is the right person and this is the right time for this transition.”
Before taking positions at PXRE the younger Radke served as President of Select Reinsurance Ltd. from 1996 to 1998, as Sr. VP – Capital Markets Products of CAT Limited, and as a VP of Guy Carpenter & Company.
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