AXIS suffers dip in profits due to high energy losses


Bermuda-based re/insurance company AXIS Capital suffered a decline in its profits in the third quarter of the year, mainly due to high offshore energy losses and adverse impact of volatility its investment portfolio.

AXIS made a net profit of $248 million for the third quarter of 2015, compared with $279 million for the third quarter of 2014. Its profits for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 are also substantially lower than last year at $467 million compared with $607 million for the corresponding period of 2014.

Its combined ratio for the third quarter of the year also increased to 96.6 percent, compared with 92.2 percent for Q3 2014.

AXIS did, however, see a 4 percent increase in its gross written premiums (GWP) for the third quarter of the year however to $937 million. Growth in the firm’s insurance segment of 9 percent was partially offset by a decrease of 3 percent in the company’s reinsurance segment.

Albert Benchimol, the company’s chief executive, also moved to reassure the market it can continue to deliver value in what he admitted is an increasingly competitive market. He said that those at the firm aren’t worried about its future after its proposed merger with PartnerRe fell through.

"We are confident that our actions to accelerate attractive new initiatives, optimise our portfolio, prune business challenged over the long-term, and enhance the efficiency of our platform, position us to continue to deliver shareholder value against the backdrop of an increasingly competitive market,” he said.

“Our results in the quarter include the benefits of targeted portfolio enhancements, particularly in the insurance property and professional lines, which were commenced prior to this year. However, these improvements were overshadowed by the adverse impact of volatility in our investment portfolio and unusually high offshore energy losses. These impacts are well understood and not unexpected given the performance of the equity markets and the high level of marine market losses this year.”

AXIS Capital, Albert Benchimol, Bermuda

Bermuda Re