Reinsurer takes $287m Sandy hit

Joe Taranto Everest Re

Everest Re Group returned to profit in 2012 despite posting a $287m loss from Superstorm Sandy.

The Bermuda-based (re)insurer recorded net income of $829m, or $15.79 per share, in 2012 (2011: net loss of $80.5m or $1.49 per share).

Everest’s fourth quarter after-tax profits increased to $58.8m, or $1.13 per share (Q4 2011: $41m or 76 cents per share).

Gross written premium increased 2% to $4.3bn for 2012 (2011: $4.3bn), while combined ratio improved to 93.8% (2011: 118.5%).

Full-year catastrophe losses totalled $361m.

Everest chairman and chief executive Joseph Taranto (pictured) said: “Despite losses from Sandy and the industry suffering record crop losses, Everest had $1bn in comprehensive income for 2012 and increased shareholder value by 18%. These results demonstrate the strength of our organisation. We are pleased with how our portfolio is positioned post January renewals and expect another strong year in 2013.”

Net investment income was $600m for the year (2011: $620m).

Everest repurchased 3 million of its shares for $290m in 2012.

Last month, the company repurchased an additional 343,981 shares for $38m.

Book value increased 16% to $130.96 per share last year (2011: $112.99 per share).