Platinum Reports Hefty First Quarter Loss

April 20, 2011

Bermuda re/insurer Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd. yesterday [Apr. 19]  reported a substantial first-quarter loss due to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan as well as natural disasters in New Zealand and Australia.

However, the Bermuda company said it expects property catastrophe reinsurance rates to improve for the rest of the year, especially when contracts renew.

The company posted a loss of $157.2 million, or $4.20 per share, in the three months ended March 31. That compared with a profit of $15.4 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The period included $248.1 million in net catastrophe losses related to New Zealand’s earthquake, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami and Australia’s flood and cyclone.

The company said net premiums earned shrank 17 percent to $182.9 million from $220.2 million.

Revenue slipped to $215.3 million from $245.3 million in 2010.

Shares of the company rose 32 cents to close at $37.42 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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