Liberty Mutual Q2 Results Zapped by Energy Investments

August 5, 2016

Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc. reported net income of $15 million for the second quarter, a 94 percent drop from the $254 million recorded for last year’s second quarter.

Energy investments were largely to blame for the drop-off— pre-tax losses from energy were $220 million in the quarter. Total realized investment losses were $95 million versus a gain of $241 million last year.

“Energy investments continue to have a detrimental effect on overall results,” said David H. Long, Liberty Mutual Insurance Chairman and CEO.

Long told analysts the company is substantially reducing its future investments in energy.

Long found some good news, too. Investments aside, net operating income was $123 million in the quarter, up 12 percent despite elevated catastrophe losses; the combined ratio improved 1.2 points to 101.4; and net written premium increased 1.2 percent to $9.018 billion.

The combined ratio before catastrophe losses was 91.4, an improvement of 1.2 points over the same period in 2015.

At a time when other carriers have been hurt by catastrophes, Liberty Mutual’s catastrophe losses for the quarter were $832 million, up only slightly from $800 million in the prior year’s second quarter. The 2016 catastrophes include the Canadian wildfires, Ecuador earthquake, severe storms in the U.S. and Cyclone Winston in Fiji.

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