Canadian Underwriter

Co-Operators Pulls in Strong 2003 Return

March 1, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter

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2003 saw a giant leap in net income for Guelph, Ontario-based Co-operators General Insurance Co. (TSX: CCS.PR.A). The company generated net profit of $44.0 million for the 2003 financial year versus a loss of $1.1 million reported the year prior. This equates to earnings a share of $1.78 for 2003 against a loss of 48 a share for the previous year.

The insurer’s gross written premiums for 2003 were up year-on-year to $1.96 billion from $1.73 billion while net earned premiums clocked in at $1.57 billion from the $1.38 billion shown for 2002. Co-operators was also able to drag its loss ratio down to 74.0% for last year compared with the 80.0% reported for the year prior. However, the company’s expense ratio rose moderately for 2003 to 29.1% from 28.9% level shown for the year before. The net result saw the combined ratio drop to 103.1% for 2003 from the 108.9% level reported the previous year. Significantly, the company produced a combined ratio close to the “magic 100” mark for the fourth quarter of 2003 at 100.6%, which shows nearly a six percentage point improvement on the ratio made at the end of the 2002 fourth quarter.

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