StarStone, which was formerly known as Torus and which is now owned by Bermuda-based Enstar, has announced a steep rise in profits despite what it described as challenging circumstances.
The company reported net earnings for 2016 of $42.8 million, almost double the $23.2 million it made in 2015. Its investment results also saw a sharp increase, going from $6.2 million in 2015 to $27.9 million.
Gross written premiums also increased, going from $825 million in 2015 to $855 million in 2016. StarStone also reported that its combined ratio remained the same year-on-year at 98.6 percent, which the company attributed to an improvement in its operating expense ratio.
According to StarStone the company saw continued disciplined underwriting focus with further improvement in year-on-year result. It also pointed to strong profit contributions, in particular from marine liability, offshore energy and terrorism lines as well as its US excess casualty portfolio which is distributed through StarStone’s broker portal, ESCAPE
StarStone added that it had actively managed the current market cycle by growing business lines where pricing was adequate while shrinking in lines where rates are under significant pressure. It also claimed to have invested in further operational efficiencies including new policy, claims and administration systems.
"In a challenging market, StarStone continued to develop its niche specialty expertise and increase its distribution footprint while retaining the focus and discipline required to maintain underwriting profitability," said Demian Smith, group CEO of StarStone, in a statement. "The diligence and focus of our staff in servicing our clients while seeking areas of long-term profitability remains our primary focus.
"Our improved profits, in a very difficult market, is testament to the efforts of my colleagues in StarStone and the wider Enstar Group in transforming StarStone since we were acquired in April 2014. With no immediate signs of improvement in the pricing environment we continue to focus on doing the basics well, delivering for our clients, underwriting for profit not scale, and management of expenses."
StarStone, Results 2016, Enstar, Bermuda, Demian Smith