Bermuda-based PartnerRe Ltd. reported net income of $129.0 million, or $2.16 per share, for the first quarter of 2008, compared to $169.3 million for Q1 2007, a 24 percent decrease. The income figure includes net realized gains on investments and earnings from the Company’s interest in the results of equity investments aggregating $10.2 million after-tax, or $0.18 per share.
Operating earnings, which exclude capital gains/losses, for the first quarter of 2008 were $110.2 million or $1.98 per share, compared to operating earnings of $154.9 million, or $2.66 per share, for the first quarter of 2007.
Gross premiums in the first quarter rose to $1.439 billion from $1.301 billion in the same period last year. Total revenues for the quarter were $1.1 billion compared to $962 million for first quarter of 2007. Total revenues include $909.8 million of net premiums earned, net investment income of $137.0 million, and net realized investment gains of $25.1 million.
PartnerRe’s non-life combined ration for Q1 2008 rose to 92.3 percent from 84.8 percent.
President and CEO Patrick Thiele commented: “PartnerRe continues to post solid results despite an increasingly competitive non-life reinsurance market. We were able to achieve net written premium growth of approximately 11 percent in a softening market because of the continuing weakness of the U.S. dollar, our acquisition last year of the renewal rights to the international reinsurance operations of the French Monceau Group, as well as significant growth in our agricultural book in the U.S. This new business helps to maintain the superior level of diversification we have built over the last cycle.”
He also observed: “We are experiencing a softening market in most of our lines of business as clients cut back on the size of their programs, competition increases, and prices decline. Inevitably, our underwriting profitability will decrease as these trends continue. However, we are beginning to see opportunities in the capital markets and expect to deploy more capital in that area going forward.
“Despite these crosscurrents, we believe that PartnerRe is well-positioned strategically and financially to continue to achieve our long-term targets for operating return on equity of 13 percent over the cycle, and average annual book value per share growth in excess of 10 percent.”
The full earnings report and a replay of today’s conference call may be obtained on PartnerRe’s web site at: www.partnerre.com.
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