27 January 2022ILS

AXIS swings back to profit

AXIS Captial has reported a $197 million profit for the fourth quarter of 2021 to deliver a net income of $588m for the calendar year. It’s a turnaround from last year when it posted a loss of $4.8m for the quarter and $150.7m for the year.

The re/insurer’s combined ratio also improved, to 93.1% for the quarter and 97.5% for the year – against 109.6% for both the quarter and year in 2020.

Gross written premium for the quarter was up across both insurance and reinsurance: To $1.32 billion from $1.10 in Q4 2020, for the former, bringing the full year figure to $4.86bn, against $4.02bn 2020, up 21%. For reinsurance, GWP rose only slightly, up to $247.8 million from $244.1m for the quarter, bringing the total for the year to $2.82bn, up just 0.5% from $2.81bn in 2020.

“This was a strong fourth quarter highlighted by an annualized operating ROE [return on equity] of 15%, a good finish to a year of meaningful progress,” said Albert Benchimol, president and CEO of AXIS Capital. “Our results provide further evidence that our work in recent years to reposition our portfolio is delivering its intended outcome, and we’re committed to sustaining this momentum and producing consistent profitable growth.

“In addition to driving significant improvement to our combined ratio, we continued to optimize balance and volatility in our portfolio as we drive PMLs lower across the entire curve. Further, we continued to capitalize on favourable market conditions to build upon our well-established positions in some of the best performing specialty insurance markets.

“Within our insurance segment, we delivered both record new business growth and total premium, as we produced the largest and most diversified insurance portfolio in the company’s history. Our insurance business produced a combined ratio of 91.6% for the full year, and we’re focused on delivering performance in line with the top ranks of the specialty insurance sector. Within our reinsurance segment, which reported a full year combined ratio of 99%, we took substantial portfolio actions during the year and into the 1/1 renewals to improve the quality and reduce the volatility of the book, and we will continue to do so in 2022.”

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