Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited announced that it is updating its guidance relating to annual growth in its gross written premiums for 2005. The company now expects growth between 20 and 25 percent higher than 2004.
CEO Chris O’Kane commented: “I am pleased by the success of our newly established teams and the continued strong performance of our business across all areas. I believe that the additional business being written is of a comparable quality to our current portfolio and meets our rigorous underwriting and pricing criteria.”
Aspen explained that the although substantial growth in gross written premiums “reflects a number of factors,” it is “mainly driven by Aspen’s new marine and aviation insurance teams (who joined in the fourth quarter of 2004 and first quarter of 2005 respectively), which have been successful to date in writing a higher percentage of our targeted business than the Company had anticipated at the end of the first quarter. The results of Aspen’s marine and aviation insurance business lines are included in its Specialty segment.”
Aspen said it “anticipates that its Insurance segment, excluding Aspen Specialty, will show a decline year on year as rates continue to weaken in this area. However the specialty unit, which covers Aspen’s U.S. excess and surplus lines business, “is now fully established and is performing well following a slow start last year. The Company’s Insurance segment comprises mainly UK commercial property, UK employers’ liability and public liability and the business written by Aspen Specialty.”
Commenting on its Casualty Reinsurance segment, Aspen said “rates have held up well and have continued to improve in certain lines, in particular in medical malpractice treaty business and as a result the Company is continuing to see attractive new business opportunities in this area.”
Aspen’s Property Reinsurance segment, however, “is anticipating a reduction in gross premiums written overall year on year.” This is partially offset “by the inclusion in this segment of approximately $40 million of gross written premiums in respect of a quota share of Lloyds’ Syndicate 958 (Omega Underwriting Agents), which Aspen wrote for the first time in 2005.
Excluding the impact of our new marine and aviation insurance lines and the quota share referenced above, the Company anticipates that growth in its more mature business lines will amount to less than 5 percent year on year.”
Aspen plans to report in detail its results of operations for the second quarter of 2005 in a press release following the close of the New York Stock Exchange on July 27, 2005. A conference call reviewing results from the second quarter of 2005 will be conducted at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) on July 28 at which Aspen will comment further on its guidance for 2005. “Aspen’s policy is that it does not provide estimates or guidance with respect to earnings,” the bulletin added.
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