AXIS Q1 Report Shows Profits Up, Operating Earnings Down

April 29, 2008

Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings Limited reported net income for the first quarter of 2008 available to common shareholders of $238 million, or $1.48 per diluted common share, compared with net income of $228 million, or $1.37 per diluted common share, for the first quarter of 2007.

Operating income for the first quarter, however, was $205 million, or $1.28 per diluted share, compared with $227 million, or $1.37 per diluted common share, for the first quarter of 2007. In addition AXIS noted: “This same item excluding foreign exchange gains, net of tax, for the first quarter of 2008 was $186 million, or $1.16 per diluted common share, compared with $225 million, or $1.36 per diluted common share, for the corresponding period of 2007.”

The Company’s combined ratio for the period was 81.2 percent, comparable with the same period of 2007. “Annualized return on average common shareholders’ equity was 20 percent;
shareholders’ equity increased 16 percent from March 31, 2007 and 4 percent from December 31, 2007 to $5.4 billion; and diluted book value per common share increased by 19 percent from March 31, 2007, and by 4 percent from December 31, 2007, to $29.96,” said the bulletin.

CEO, John Charman commented: “We are very pleased that our diversified underwriting portfolio and our continued strong operating cash flow delivered a 20 percent annualized return on average common equity for the quarter. These results were achieved despite the strong negative headwinds presented by a combination of unusually high levels of worldwide risk losses, cat losses and unprecedented turbulence in the financial markets.

“We expect that the extreme competitive challenges across all product lines will continue to prevail throughout the insurance marketplace. Reinsurance business, we believe, will be much more stable in pricing, terms and conditions throughout the rest of the year. It is anticipated that the financial markets will remain difficult. We remain confident that quality results remain achievable with our conservative balance sheet and defensive and disciplined underwriting posture.”

The full report and a replay of today’s conference call are available on the Company’s web site at www.axiscapital.com.

Source: AXIS Capital

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