Canadian Underwriter

Transatlantic reports record 1998

April 1, 1999   by Canadian Underwriter

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Global reinsurer Transatlantic Holdings Inc. has reported record net income earnings for 1998, up 33.4% from 1997’s US$185.5 million to 1998’s $247.5 million. Net income diluted on a common share basis rose $1.76 from 1997’s $5.34 to 1998’s $7.10.

Record profits aside, Transatlantic also saw a steady increase in marketshare posting an increase of 7.7% in net premiums written, from 1997’s $1.29 billion to $1.39 billion in 1998. Net investment income rose 6.9% 1997 to 1998, from $207.6 million to $222.0 million respectively. The company’s combined ratio did not fare as well, rising from 1997’s 100.1 to 1998’s 101.3. According to company figures though, the ratio rise was impacted by a pre-tax $20 million loss emerging from dealing with Hurricane Georges, without which the combined ratio for the full year of 1998 would have been 99.9.

“We had a solid quarter and record earnings for the year, despite a high level of catastrophe losses sustained by the industry in 1998 and continued rate erosion in most market sectors. Net premiums written increased, as our specialty emphasis and global reach enabled us to develop new business opportunities,” summarizes Robert Orlich, Transatlantic’s president.

Topping off the successful year, Moody’s Investor Service recently assigned an initial insurance financial strength rating of AA1 (“Excellent”) to subsidiary Transatlantic Reinsurance Company (TRC). Already, TRC is rated A++ (“Superior”) by A.M. Best Company. Citing its strong year end results, the company declared a dividend of 11c per common share to stakeholders.

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