Employers Holdings Inc. reported fourth quarter 2009 net income of $11.3 million compared with $15.9 million in the same period in 2008, a decrease of $4.6 million. Pre-tax income in the fourth quarter increased $13.8 million in 2009, compared to $12.8 million in the same period in 2008. The company said tax benefits related to the favorable development of pre-privatization reserves drove the resulting higher net income after tax in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Net income for full year of 2009 was $83 million, compared with $101.8 million in 2008.
The combined ratio for the fourth quarter of 2009 was 106.5 percent, compared with 99.1 percent for the same quarter in 2008, an increase of 7.4 percentage points. For the full year 2009, the combined ratio was 98 percent, an increase of 12.1 percentage points from 85.9 percent for the same period in 2008.
“We are pleased that, despite these difficult times, we have benefited from our now fully integrated acquired operations in terms of geographically diversified premium and increased human capital,” said Douglas D. Dirks, president and CEO. “Unlike some of our peers, we have continued to invest in the drivers of growth in our business, while returning 131.7 percent of 2009 earnings before the LPT (loss portfolio transfer) to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. … We recognize that our performance is short of our expectations for this business and we intend to actively manage our operations to improve these results.”
Dirks noted that the company faces pressures by higher levels of unemployment, declines in payrolls, competitive market conditions and the impacts of disciplined underwriting. In California, which represented nearly half of the Reno, Nev.-based workers’ compensation insurance provider’s business, Employers saw a positive net rate in the last half of the year with little change in policy count, Dirks said. He noted the company will raise rates an additional 3 percent in California that will take effect on March 15.
To view the comapny’s Q4 and full-year earnings report, visit www.employers.com.
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