Aspen reports first half 2019 loss
Aspen reported losses for the third consecutive year in 2019, but insisted the group is on track to turn things around in the medium and longer term.
Aspen made a net loss after tax of $241.7 million in 2019, a significant deterioration on the net loss after tax of $145.8 million it reported in 2018. In 2017 it made a net loss of $266.4 million.
Gross written premiums remained in line with 2018, at $3.44 billion for both 2019 and 2018. Its combined ratio, excluding non-operating expenses, was 108.5 percent, up from 106.5 percent in 2018.
Mark Cloutier, group executive chairman and chief executive officer, described 2019 as “both a challenging and transitional year for our group,” citing, in particular, the completion of its merger transaction with Apollo Global Management early in the year.
In the reinsurance business Cloutier said there had been some improvements in the rates environment across the majority of classes and regions it operates in throughout 2019, which have continued into 2020. “These trends are indeed positive but we continue to take a cautious and selective approach to growth as evidenced in our year-over-year gross written premium numbers,” he said.
Cloutier added: “We have undertaken a number of initiatives targeted at protecting the financial strength of the company, while also driving change geared at improving performance over the medium and longer term - all with a focus on long term total value creation.” These actions include refocusing the products Aspen underwrites, strengthening its balance sheet, enhancing its management team and simplifying its global footprint and operating structure.
Cloutier acknowledged the results were disappointing, but said: “Given the impact of deal related costs, restructuring charges and specific actions taken to improve underwriting performance and strengthen reserves, it is rewarding to see that underlying trends in our forward trading businesses are showing significant improvement.”
Aspen, Mark Cloutier, Results