The profits of Bermuda based re/insurer Argo Group grew in the third quarter of 2014, as its underwriting margins continued to improve.
The company saw profits hit $44.7 million in the third quarter of 2014, compared with $31 million in the third quarter of 2013.
Argo saw its gross written premiums (GWP) increase to $497.2 million in the quarter, compared with $495.1 million for the third quarter of 2013, while its net written premiums increased to $380.5 million from $369.9 million for the third quarter of 2013 after deduction of other reinsurance-related expenses.
Its combined ratio improved to 96.4 percent, compared with 97.5 percent for the same period of the prior year.
Argo’s excess and surplus lines segment saw 5.1 percent growth as GWP hit $146.5 million, compared with $139.4 million in the third quarter of 2013. Argo said that growth in higher margin businesses was partially offset by competitive market conditions and premium reductions as it continue to reduce its commercial auto book.
Its commercial specialty segment saw GWP of $138.7 million compared with $138.6 million for the third quarter of 2013. Growth at Argo’s mining business was offset by modest declines in premium at Argo Insurance and Trident.
Argo’s international specialty segment shrunk with GWP down 7 percent to $64 million. Argo said the decline in premium relates primarily to increased competition in its short-tail reinsurance business. GWP in its syndicate also fell to $146.7 million, down 0.7 percent compared with the third quarter of 2013.
“Results for the third quarter of 2014 were solid," said Argo Group chief executive officer Mark Watson. “Our underwriting margins continue to steadily improve. Top line growth was modest as we continue to focus on our higher margin businesses while reducing in areas where we do not see sufficiently attractive returns.”
Argo, Third Quarter 2014 Results, Bermuda, Mark Watson