Pennsylvania-based insurer Harleysville Group Inc. saw its third-quarter profits climb to $24.7 million, up 488 percent from $4.2 million in the year-ago period.
Revenue at the insurer rose to $244.3 million, up 5 percent from the $232.5 million it reported in the last quarter.
Reduced expenses helped boost the bottom line. For the quarter, expenses were $210.6 million, down 8.3 percent from $229.6 million in the year-ago period. Realized investment gains helped, too. The insurer reported realized investment gains of $2.4 million compared with nearly $29 million in realized investment losses in the third quarter of 2008.
CEO Michael Browne said the quarterly performance was “strong” and the balance sheet “very strong.”
The company’s third quarter net written premiums fell 8.1 percent to $202.3 million in the quarter, compared to $220.1 million in the year-ago period.
In commercial lines, net written premiums decreased 12.3 percent to $154.3 million. In personal lines, net written premiums increased 8.8 percent to $48.1 million in the third quarter.
The commercial lines statutory combined ratio was 100.1 percent in the third quarter of 2009, versus 100.3 percent in the third quarter of 2008. The personal lines statutory combined ratio was 95.7 percent in the third quarter of 2009, versus 92.2 percent during the third quarter of 2008.
Harleysville Group’s overall statutory combined ratio was 98.9 percent in the third quarter of 2009, compared to 98.8 percent in the comparable period. Catastrophe losses added 0.4 points to the third quarter result in 2009, compared to 1.6 points in 2008.
Browne said the company is “very well positioned” to “manage through these difficult economic times.
“While the insurance marketplace continues to be challenging, we remain committed to retaining our best business, as well as generating responsible, profitable growth. But, we are not going to compromise underwriting quality to chase a near-term growth goal. Instead, we will work closely with our agency partners to remain disciplined — despite current market conditions — as we focus on our goal of producing results that will continue to differentiate us favorably from our competition.”
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