Credits benign cat activity and price increases with profitable Q3

Chris O'Kane

Aspen Insurance has reported net income after tax of $115.1m for the third quarter of 2012, compared to net income of $21.2m in the same quarter of 2011. The combined ratio was 87% for the quarter, compared to 96.9% in the same quarter a year ago.

The company credited low catastrophe levels, pricing improvement and net favourable reserve development with a good performance from both insurance and reinsurance segments.

For the year to date net income after tax was $278.4m, compared to a net loss of $122.5m in the first nine months of 2011. The year to date combined ratio was 89.3%, compared to 116.4% for the same period of 2011.

Aspen’s reinsurance business enjoyed a combined ratio of 73.8% for the quarter, compared with 95.5% a year ago. The segment underwriting profit for Q3 was $73.2m, compared with $12.3m in the same quarter a year ago.

The segment underwriting profit for the first nine months of 2012 was $186.8m, compared with an underwriting loss of $214.5m for the first nine months of 2011, which was severely impacted by natural catastrophes, primarily the Japan and New Zealand earthquakes.

The (re)insurer has implemented new capital management strategies on the back of its strong performance. Aspen’s board has approved a share repurchase authorisation for up to $400m of outstanding ordinary shares.

“Our operating income for the third quarter was $106.5m … the result of positive performances in both reinsurance and insurance,” chief executive Chris O’Kane said. “We enter the final quarter of the year with positive momentum and a strong capital position as we continue to execute our diversified business strategy and to manage capital effectively.”