Liberty Mutual Boosted Q4, 2018 Profit Helped by Lower Catastrophe Losses

Liberty Mutual Holding Co. and its subsidiaries reported net income of $249 million for the fourth quarter 2018 and $2.160 billion for the full year 2018, increases of $44 million and $2.143 billion over the same periods in 2017.

Catastrophe losses fo the year were well below what they were in 2017, although they still were above average. Catastrophe losses totaled $534 million in the fourth quarter, up 18 percent from the same period in 2017 and totaled $1.9 billion for the full yeaR, which was down 47 percent from 2017 full year.

Due to catastrophe losses, Liberty Mutual reported $17 million in net income for 2017, down substantially from more than $1 billion in 2016.

“Premium growth was strong at 6.3 percent for the year as market conditions improved domestically and international growth remained robust at 13.1 percent,” noted David H. Long, Liberty Mutual chairman and chief executive officer, in prepared remarks.

The combined ratio for the full year improved 6.4 points to 99.2.

Long said the company’s new operating structure introduced at the start of last year that formed Global Retail Markets and Global Risk Solutions is delivering “tangible results” and has the firm well positioned to continue to improve performance.

Edward Peña, director of Investor Relations, called it an “OK” fourth quarter on a call with analysts.

Fourth Quarter 2018

Full Year 2018

Last October, Liberty Mutual Insurance announced it was beginning a strategic review of its London-based Pembroke Managing Agency Ltd., acquired in its the lronshore purchase in May of 2017. The company says that review is still ongoing.

In May 2018, the company’s Spanish subsidiary, Liberty Seguros Compania de Seguros y Reaseguros S.A., completed the sale of its entire 99.44 percent interest in its Turkish insurance affiliate, Liberty Sigorta A.S., to Talanx International.

Also in May, the company completed the sale of Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston to Lincoln Financial Group.