The subprime mortgage crisis that has dragged down the profits of many insurers, especially in the fourth quarter of 2007, doesn’t seem to have affected Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited. The Bermuda-based Company announced fourth quarter net income of $135.2 million, and $489 million for the full year, up 29.3 percent on 2006 and 13.1 percent over the same quarter last year.
Other significant figures included the following:
— Book value per share of $27.95, up 25.1 percent on 2006.
— EPS of $5.11 for 2007 up 36 percent on 2006 and $1.44 for the quarter up 20 percent on the fourth quarter of 2006.
— Operating ROE of 21.1 percent for the twelve months and annualized 23.2 percent for the quarter.
— Combined ratio for the twelve months of 83.0 percent and 79.4 percent for the quarter.
— Gross written premium in the fourth quarter rose 6.3 percent to $305 million from $286.9 million.
— Gross written premium for the full year fell by 6.5 percent to $1.8185 billion from $1.9455 billion
CEO Chris O’Kane commented: “For the fourth quarter and full year 2007, Aspen delivered record net income and earnings per share. These outstanding results reflect that all areas of the Company are executing in-line with our strategy to diversify and leverage our underwriting platforms, and generate strong consistent results from our investment portfolio. We are well positioned for the softening markets in 2008 and expect to continue delivering value for our shareholders.”
Aspen’s bulletin also noted the following “operating highlights:”
— A.M. Best announced an upgrade of Aspen’s Bermuda operation, Aspen Insurance Limited, to a financial strength rating of “A” and affirmed the U.K. operation’s rating as “A”, both with a “Stable” outlook.
— Net investment income for the year was $299 million, up 46.3 percent on last year with the Funds of Hedge Funds producing an 11.4 percent return over the year.
— Assets under management increased to $5.9 billion at the end of 2007 from $5.2 billion at the end of 2006.
— Cash flows from operating activities increased from $723 million in 2006 to $774 million in 2007.
— Limited catastrophe losses for the year of $77 million, including $18 million of losses resulting from the California wildfires in the fourth quarter.
— Following the $50 million share buyback in the third quarter, Aspen completed the final $50 million tranche in the fourth quarter. This completes the $300 million buyback program authorized by the Board in November 2006.
— During 2007, Aspen continued to implement its successful diversification strategy across business lines and geographies, with new initiatives including entry into Political Risk, Global Excess Casualty and Professional Liability insurance markets, and the establishment of operating platforms in Zurich and Dublin.
The full report may be obtained on the Company’s web site at: www.aspen.bm.
Aspen will hold a conference call to discuss its financial results today, Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time). The conference call will be webcast live in the ‘presentations’ section of the Investor Relations page of Aspen’s web site.
Investors may participate in the live conference call by dialing 888-459-5609 (toll-free domestic U.S.) or 973-321-1024 (international); conference ID: 30154447. Please call to register at least 10 minutes before the conference call begins. A replay of the call will be available for 10 days via telephone starting immediately following the live call and can be accessed at 800-642-1687 (toll-free domestic U.S.) or 706-645-9291 (international); digital pin: 30154447. A replay will also be available for 10 days via Aspen’ s web site.
Source: Aspen Holdings
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