Canadian Underwriter

Rough start to 2003 for Optimum General

May 16, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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Despite plans for a turnaround, 2003 has not gotten off to a smooth start for Montreal-based Optimum General Inc. (TSX: OGI.A). The company is reporting a net loss of $291,000, or $0.02 per share, for the first quarter ending March 31, 2003. This compares with net income of $290,000, or $0.03 per share, during the same period in 2002.
As a result of the company’s decision to withdraw from Atlantic Canada and Texas, gross written premiums were down to $29.7 million, from $31.5 million in the first quarter 2002. Net earned premiums were up slightly to $25.2 million from $24.1 million.
The claims ratio remained constant at 63.1%, and the underwriting loss was the same year-on-year at $1.5 million, with the company’s combined ratio dropping slightly to 106.0% from 106.5% a year earlier.
Investments, however, took a sharp hit. Investment income for the most recent quarter is $1.0 million, almost half the $1.9 million reported in the first quarter of 2002.

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