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Argo’s chief executive officer Mark Watson has reacted positively to Argo’s first quarter 2018 results, despite the fact that its profit of $24.8 million was 32.4 percent down from the $36.7 million it made in the first quarter of last year.
“The first quarter reflects the balanced and meaningful approach to growth and profit from our international and US operations, as well as our investments in people, technology and innovation,” said Watson. “In addition, investment income continued as a consistent contributor as it grew by 18 percent over the prior year’s results. This despite the increasingly volatile investment environment experienced through the first months of the year. Through the continuing strategy of disciplined, differentiated underwriting and above-average top-line growth, we feel very positive about the coming quarters and beyond.”
The company saw gross written premiums rise 18.7 percent to $710.5 million, compared to $598.6 million for the 2017 first quarter. Both the US and international operations reported growth in gross written premiums compared to the 2017 quarter.
Argo’s US operations reported first quarter 2018 gross written premiums growth of 11.3 percent versus the 2017 first quarter. According to the company this was driven by liability, professional and specialty lines, reflecting the execution of strategic growth initiatives. property lines were down compared to the prior year’s first quarter due to planned reductions to exposures in certain classes of business within this line.
The company’s international operations segment reported that gross written premiums were up 28.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the prior year period. This was driven by increases in property, liability and professional lines, most notably within Lloyd’s syndicate-based insurance, reinsurance and European business platforms. The increase is partially offset by planned reductions in specialty Lines. In addition, the 2018 first quarter includes three months of premium related to the acquisition of Ariel Re compared to only two months included in the 2017 first quarter.
Argo Group, Q1, 2018, profits, premiums, Mark Watson