AXIS Reports Q4 Operating Income: $159M

February 5, 2014

Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings Limited  reported a net income available to common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2013 of $172 million, or $1.52 per diluted common share, compared with a net loss of $19 million, or $0.16 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Net income available to common shareholders for the full year 2013 was $684 million, or $5.93 per diluted common share, compared with $495 million, or $4.00 per diluted common share, for 2012.

Commenting on the fourth quarter 2013 financial results, Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of AXIS Capital said “AXIS had a good fourth quarter and a good year. Financially, it was a year of solid progress. Despite mixed markets, we increased our net written premiums by 18% for the year while delivering an operating ROE of 12.1%.

“Notwithstanding a difficult interest rate environment, we grew diluted book value per share 7% for the year. We rewarded investors by again returning effectively all of our operating profits through dividends and buybacks, and we raised our dividend for the ninth consecutive year. With total assets of $20 billion and total capital of $6.8 billion, we have never been stronger.

“2013 was also a year of gratifying achievement in numerous entrepreneurial initiatives. Among our milestone accomplishments this year was our establishment of a presence at Lloyd’s. We reentered the retail primary casualty markets and wholesale small-account excess casualty in the U.S.

“We expanded existing specialties – such as our highly successful professional, energy and marine lines – into new geographies, notably Asia and Australia.

“We continued to build AXIS Accident & Health from a start-up into a meaningful participant in the niche markets of travel, accident and specialty health. Within AXIS Re, we established a weather and commodities operation and a third party capital management business. Meanwhile, our expansion in the agriculture sector quickly proved its worth in 2013.

“Our efforts to deliver diversifying growth and increase the balance in our existing businesses are directly tied to our goal of reducing portfolio volatility and enhancing risk adjusted profitability.

“This is reflected in our combined ratio of 91% for the year despite a high incidence of claims in our property and U.S. D&O books within our insurance segment. While there is still much work to do, I am confident our focus on portfolio optimization will ultimately deliver even stronger performance.

“Much has been made of the inflection point in pricing and increased competition in reinsurance. However, this remains a business of relationships and risk selection, and AXIS remains well-positioned to access, write and retain profitable business.

“We are pleased with the established specialties we have in both our insurance and reinsurance businesses. With these and the associated flexibility afforded us, we expect to continue to improve returns in 2014 as we make further progress in our various strategic initiatives.”

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