Catlin Group's gross written premiums rise in first quarter

Catlin Group's first quarter gross written premiums were 12 per cent ahead of the previous year following growth its casualty insurance business.

Catlin Group's first quarter gross written premiums were 12 per cent ahead of the previous year following growth its casualty insurance business.

The specialty insurer and reinsurer said gross written premiums came to $1.8bn for the first three months of the year while net premiums earned also rose 12% to $948m from $847m in 2012.

Gross premiums written by non-London underwriting hubs increased by 21%, accounting for 58% of the group total.

The casualty division helped pushed results higher with gross premiums up 25% to $330m, reflecting strong performance in business written by the US and international hubs.

Property jumped by 23% to $158m supported by international business and rate increases following Winterstorm Sandy which destroyed homes across the US.

Reinsurance climbed 15% to $903m driven by volume in its continental European reinsurance hub, Catlin Re Switzerland, and growth in the US.

Specialty war and political risks rose 2.0% to $161m while energy and marine increased 1.0% to $214m.

Aerospace, however, fell 8.0% to $78m as volume was affected by competitive pressure and delays in scheduled satellite launches.

Average weighted premium rates across the group's underwriting portfolio advanced 3.0% during the period.

Total cash and investments came to $8.56bn at the end of March, a 2.0% rise compared to the previous year's $8.41bn. Year-to-date total investment return came to 0.5%, down from 0.6% the prior year.

While yields on bonds continued at historical lows during the quarter, emerging signs of a positive outlook resulted in higher equity values and the appreciation in the value of other risk assets.

The group's holdings in equities and loans, included in other invested assets, produced a year-to-date return of 4.9%.

"We have made a very good start to the 2013 underwriting year, said Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Catlin.

"Premium rates have continued to rise in most classes of business, with the notable exception of the airline account.

"Whilst the rest of the year may not be catastrophe-free as the first quarter was, we are optimistic that the global infrastructure that we have built over the past decade and our emphasis on capital preservation will continue to benefit our clients and shareholders alike. We look ahead with confidence."

RD

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