(Re)insurer launches new $1bn share buy-back programme

Bermuda-based (re)insurance company XL Group made a net profit of $397.4m for the first nine months of 2010, a 61% increase on the $246.9m it made in the same period of 2009.

While total gross written premiums fell to $5.26bn from $5.41bn, and net investment income declined to $907.6m from $1bn, XL’s overall revenues increased 1.3% to $4.81bn from $4.75bn thanks to much lower realised losses on investments.

XL’s profits were also helped by a 6.4% drop in total expenses to $4.31bn from $4.6bn.

The property/casualty division’s nine-month underwriting income fell 46% to $152.7m from $281.6m. The division’s combined ratio increased to 95.9% from 92.8%.

XL has also announced a new $1bn share buy-back programme, having completed $375.4m in repurchases since 30 June this year. XL plans to make repurchases under the new programme from time to time, funded by cash on hand. It said the form and amount of the buy-backs would depend on a variety of factors, including market conditions, legal requirements and other factors.