W. R. Berkley Corp. Reports Record Net Income of $744M for 2007

February 11, 2008

W. R. Berkley Corp. reported net income for 2007 of $3.78 per share, or $744 million, compared to $3.46 per share, or $700 million, for 2006.

Net operating income for 2007 was $3.73 per share, or $734 million, compared with $3.43 per share, or $692 million, for 2006.

Full year 2007 highlights included:

* Return on equity was 22.3%.
* GAAP combined ratio was 88.1%.
* Net investment income grew 15% to $673 million.
* Paid loss ratio was 42%.
* Repurchased 15.2 million shares of the company’s common stock, including 3.2 million shares in the fourth quarter.

Fourth quarter net premiums totaled $1.051 billion compared to $1.113 billion in 2006’s fourth quarter. For the year, net premiums were $4.575 billion compared to $4.818 billion in all of 2006.

William R. Berkley, chairman and chief executive officer, noted that the fourth quarter was the twenty-first consecutive quarter that return on equity exceeded 20 percent.

“While we anticipate 2008 will be increasingly competitive from an underwriting perspective, we still expect to deliver excellent returns,” Berkley said.

“Investment income grew by 15 percent in 2007, without any sacrifice to the quality of the investment portfolio. We have virtually no sub-prime exposure. It is likely that investment returns will continue to be under pressure due to current economic uncertainties and the shape of the yield curve.

Source: W.R. Berkley Corp.
www.wrberkley.com

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