Canadian Underwriter

2003 sees big leap in Co-operators’ earnings

February 10, 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 produce income of $44.0 million last year, versus a net loss of $1.1 million the year prior. This translates to earnings per share of $1.78 in 2003, against a loss per share of $0.48 in 2002.
The company’s gross written premiums were up year-over-year to $1.96 billion from $1.73 billion. And net earned premiums were up over the same comparative period to $1.57 billion from $1.38 billion.
Co-operators was able to drag its loss ratio down between 2002 and 2003, to 74.0% from 80.0%. The expense ratio was up slightly in 2003, to 29.1% from 28.9% the year previous, but the combined ratio dropped to 103.1% from 108.9% during the same time.
The company saw good progress in the last quarter ending December 31, 2003, with net income for the three months of $13.7 million, or $0.55 per share, over a loss of $2.5 million, or $0.27 per share, in fourth quarter 2002.
Both gross written and net earned premiums were up, while the loss ratio dropped to 69.5% from 78.2% between fourth quarter 2003 and 2002. Significantly, the company produced a combined ratio close to the “magic 100” mark in the fourth quarter of 2003, at 100.6%, down from 106.3% in the last quarter of 2002.
“We are satisfied and encouraged by our strategic progress resulting in this improved financial performance,” says Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of parent company The Co-operators. However, she warns, “automobile product performance remains a concern across the country though, given ongoing reform uncertainties.”

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