White Mountains Reports First Quarter Results

May 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. [WTM] reported book value per share of $1,231 and adjusted book value per share of $1,242 as of March 31, 2021.

Book value per share and adjusted book value per share both decreased 2% in the first quarter of 2021, including dividends.

Manning Rountree, CEO, commented, “We are off to a bit of a slow start in 2021, with ABVPS down 2% in the first quarter. The decline was largely driven by two items—[i] a mark-to-market decline in our MediaAlpha position [which has since rebounded] and [ii] a loss triggered by NSM’s sale of the Fresh Insurance motor business.

“Our underlying operating results were sound. BAM enjoyed its strongest first quarter on record, driven by primary market penetration and another significant assumed reinsurance transaction. Ark wrote $405 million of gross written premiums in the quarter, up more than 2x year over year, with renewal pricing up more than 10%. Ark’s adjusted combined ratio was 108% in the quarter, impacted by heavy cat losses, chiefly related to Winter Storm Uri.

“NSM posted solid growth in both pro forma controlled premiums and pro forma adjusted EBITDA. Kudu posted solid growth in revenues from participation contracts and adjusted EBITDA. Excluding MediaAlpha, our investment portfolio was up 0.7% in the quarter. Reflecting $160 million of net proceeds from the MediaAlpha secondary offering in March, we finished the quarter with roughly $300 million in undeployed capital.”

“Comprehensive loss attributable to common shareholders was $74 million in the first quarter of 2021, compared to $132 million in the first quarter of 2020. Results in the first quarter of 2021 were driven primarily by $42 million of net realized and unrealized investment losses from White Mountains’s investment in MediaAlpha [as the MediaAlpha share price declined from $39.07 at December 31, 2020 to $35.43 at March 31, 2021] and a loss of $29 million related to NSM’s sale of its Fresh Insurance motor business. Results in the first quarter of 2020 were driven primarily by negative investment returns as equity markets declined in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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