ACE reports 'exceptionally strong' premium growth and improved underwriting results in its first quarter results.
Book value increased 2.4 percent to $86.90, and tangible book value per share increased 3.0 percent to $70.97, from the end of 2013. ACE's property and casualty combined ratio for the quarter was 88.8 percent.
After-tax operating income of $777 million was driven by both strong underwriting and investment income results, which generated an operating ROE of 11.2 percent. Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of ACE, comments: “ACE had an excellent first quarter and a very good start to the year.”
“Underwriting results were particularly strong in the quarter, with underwriting income up 7 percent and a P&C combined ratio of 88.8 percent.” Underwriting income benefited from excellent current accident year underwriting income growth before catastrophe losses of 17 percent as a result of double-digit growth in earned premium and improved margin.
“Premium revenue growth across the company was exceptionally strong, with total P&C net premiums up nearly 14 percent. In North America, our P&C business grew 11 percent in the quarter and continued to achieve positive rate increases with overall pricing up in casualty-related lines and down in property-related,” notes Greenberg.
Internationally, where ACE’s P&C business grew more than 12 percent in constant dollars, pricing was generally flat. This is in spite of increasingly competitive conditions in the global P&C market.
“This is not a surprise – we are a disciplined organization and prepared. Given our excellent diversification by product, geography and distribution, many areas of our business have attractive growth prospects, and as a result we are confident in our ability to outperform.”
ACE, Q1, results, P&C