Firms report lower net written premiums in Q2

Bermudian (re)insurers Endurance Specialty Holdings and RenaissanceRe have posted declines in both first half and second quarter net profit as the reporting season for US-listed firms continues.

Endurance suffered the biggest drop: first-half 2010 net income almost halved to $114.4m from $227.4m in the same period of 2009, while second quarter net income slid 60.7% to $58.6m from $149.2m. Endurance’s first half 2010 combined ratio increased to 93.8% from 90.8%. The second quarter combined ratio increased to 91% from 89.6%.

Endurance’s first half net premiums written increased 3.9% to $609.8m, while net premiums written in the second quarter alone fell 21.6% to $255.8m.

Meanwhile, RenaissanceRe’s first half net profit fell 3.3% to $458.9m from $474.7m in the first half of 2009, while second quarter net profit fell 17.7% to $272.7m from $331.4m. The reinsurer’s first half 2010 combined ratio increased to 54% from 49.4%, while the second quarter combined ratio fell slightly to 42.3% from 43.8%.

The chief executives of both firms were upbeat about their companies’ second quarter performances given the difficult operating environment.

"Endurance generated solid financial results during a quarter characterized by challenging underwriting and investing conditions,” said Endurance CEO David Cash.

RenaissanceRe CEO Neil Currie pointed out that his firm had generated an annualised return on common equity of 18% and boosted book value per share by almost 6% in the second quarter. "Our ability to produce an attractive portfolio of business in this market is a testament to our position as a market leader with strong client and broker relationships,” he said.

Endurance and RenaissanceRe’s profit declines are in keeping with the trend set by fellow reinsurers Transatlantic Holdings and Montpelier Re. However several (re)insurers with a heavy weighting towards insurance in their product mix, including Ace, Arch Capital Group and WR Berkley, have posted increases in both first half and second quarter net income.