Canadian Underwriter

E-L Financial net income up despite investment woes

May 5, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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E-L Financial Corp. Ltd. (TSX: ELF), parent of The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Co. and Chieftain, reports net income for the first quarter ending March 31, 2003 was up to $11.1 million, or $2.89 per share, versus $9.4 million, or $2.44 per share, a year earlier.
This is exclusive of investment gains, which if counted would mean total net income of $16.9 million, or $4.41 per share, the same as first quarter 2002’s result.
The company notes that the market value of stock portfolios held by its insurance subsidiaries has dropped $61 million below carrying value, a sharp dive from the $17 million difference reported at the end of 2002.
“The deficiency of the market value relative to the carrying value of our insurance subsidiaries’ stock portfolios is not reflected in the [first quarter 2003] balance sheet,” states a company release. “Continued investment gains may not materialize to the same extent as in previous years, thus affecting future total earnings.”
The company’s general insurance operations saw revenue of $222.7 million, with net income (including investment results) of $7.98 million. This compares with revenue of $177 million, and net income of $4.1 million for the first quarter of 2002.
For the company as a whole, revenue was up to $390.2 million this quarter from $338.4 million during the same period in 2002. Of this, gain on sale of investments accounted for $4.5 million and $9.3 million for the first quarter 2003 and 2002 respectively.
Total assets are down to $6.4 billion at the end of the most recent quarter, from $6.5 billion a year earlier. Capital and surplus were also down slightly to $1.27 billion from $1.32 billion a year ago.

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