AXIS Reports Fourth Quarter 2017 Results

February 9, 2018

Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings Limited reported net loss attributable to common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2017 of $38 million, or $[0.46] per diluted common share, compared with net income of $131 million, or $1.48 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Net loss attributable to common shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $416 million, or $[4.94] per diluted common share, compared with net income of $465 million, or $5.08 per diluted common share, for the same period in 2016.

Commenting on the fourth quarter and full year 2017 financial results, Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of AXIS Capital, said: “The fourth quarter of 2017 extended the themes established earlier in the year: Significant catastrophe activity, higher attritional property losses, the ongoing effects of the Ogden rate change in the UK, and the cumulative impact of several years of intense competition.

“Although our loss for the year is clearly disappointing, we operate in an industry that experiences occasional high-severity events. To balance against this, we manage our risks to ensure we remain strong and able to provide the seamless, high- quality protection our clients and partners in distribution have come to expect of us.

“The actions we have taken over recent quarters to reduce earnings volatility have helped to temper the impact to our financial results in a period where industry catastrophe losses were in excess of $100 billion. We closed 2017 with a diluted book value per share of $53.88, a decrease of 7.5% from December 31, 2016, which is not unreasonable when compared to the scale of market losses observed during the period.

“Notwithstanding the industry backdrop, it was a very successful quarter and year from an organizational development perspective, as we closed on the acquisition of Novae and made further progress on strategic initiatives, all of which have contributed to the delivery of a much stronger platform with differentiated positioning and leadership positions in key markets.

“This was the first quarter in which we included Novae in our financial reporting and, as such, there are a number of moving parts in our results. We remain pleased with the progress we have made thus far in integrating this business into AXIS and laying the groundwork to realize significant value from the transaction. Our experience to date indicates the strategic and financial benefits from the acquisition of Novae will exceed our initial expectations.

“As we look ahead, our stronger industry positioning and increased relevance in our core markets have allowed us to take advantage of improving market conditions at recent renewals, and establish positive momentum as we move past the 1/1 renewals and deeper into 2018, to deliver enhanced profitability.”

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