Canadian Underwriter

Fairfax earnings up in first quarter 2002

May 14, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings (TSE: FFH) is showing signs of improvement in the first quarter of 2002. After losing $346 million last year, to pretax earning of $29 million for the quarter ending March 31, 2002. This is a 257% jump over the $11.3 million in earnings for the first quarter 2001.
However, net earnings dropped for the quarter to $11.3 million versus $30.9 million, largely as a result of income tax expenses, versus last year’s income tax recovery. The result is earnings per share of $0.46 this year, as opposed to $2.11 last year during the same period.
Net premiums written grew 13.2%, to $1,577.8 million from $1,393,9 million in the same quarter last year. Overall revenue was $1,742.2 million for the period, up from $1,528.3 million in 2001.
Combined ratios improved for all sectors, including Canadian insurance operations, which dropped to 99.4% in the first three months of this year from 111.3% last year. U.S. insurance operations improved, if not as significantly, to 106.9% from 111.9%. Fairfax’s reinsurance operations saw a combined ratio of 98.8%, versus 103.2% last year, bringing the company’s overall ratio to 103.2%, down from 109.5% in the first quarter of 2001.

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