ACE Limited reported net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, of $998 million, or $2.90 per share, compared with $2.22 per share for the same quarter last year. Operating income was $824 million or $2.39 per share, compared with $1.43 per share for the same quarter last year.
Book value and tangible book value per share increased 2.2 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively, from September 30, 2013. Book value and tangible book value per share now stand at $84.83 and $68.93, respectively. Operating return on equity for the quarter was 12.1 percent. The property and casualty (P&C) combined ratio for the quarter was 89.3 percent.
For the year ended December 31, 2013, net income was $3.758 billion, or $10.92 per share, compared with $7.89 per share for 2012. Operating income was $3.217 billion or $9.35 per share, compared with $7.65 per share for 2012. Book value increased $1.3 billion, up 4.7 percent from December 31, 2012, and tangible book value increased $865 million, up 3.8 percent, and up 6.5 percent excluding acquisitions. The P&C combined ratio for the year ended December 31, 2013, was 88.0 percent.
Chairman and CEO Evan G. Greenberg commented: “ACE had an excellent fourth quarter and a record year. Both our quarterly and annual results were driven by very strong premium revenue growth globally and an exceptional underwriting performance. Put simply, we are growing while achieving good margins – it’s about growth in areas where prices are attractive and securing improved terms including rate in areas where they’re not.
“Record full-year after-tax operating income was $3.2 billion or $9.35 per share, up 23 percent. At our core we are an underwriting company, and our P&C combined ratio for the year of 88 percent produced $1.8 billion of underwriting income, up over 110 percent.
“On a current accident year basis excluding catastrophe losses, which is an important way to assess the health of our underlying business, the P&C combined ratio was 90 percent for the year, almost three points better than 2012. Of course, like the rest of the industry, we benefited from light catastrophe losses during the year. In addition, we run our balance sheet prudently starting with our loss reserves, and as a consequence we also benefited from positive prior year reserve development.
“Complementing the excellent underwriting results and a product of our strong cash flow was net investment income of $2.1 billion, which was down less than 2 percent for the year – a good result given the low interest rate environment. Our record earnings produced a strong operating ROE of over 12 percent while per share book value grew 5 percent for the year, or 11 percent if you exclude the unrealized losses from our investment portfolio as interest rates rose.
Source: ACE Limited
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