Essent Group, the Bermuda-based holding company that owns Essent Guaranty, which offers private mortgage insurance in the US, saw a dip in profit in 2020, but insisted the outlook for housing looks bright in 2021.
Essent generated a net profit of $413 million for the full year in 2020, compared to $555.7 million in 2019.
Meanwhile Essent reported net profit of $123.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, a little down on the $147 million reported in the same period of 2019.
Essent’s net written premiums for 2020 were $834.1 million, up from $760.8 million in 2019. For Q4 2020 it reported net written premiums of $214.2 million, up from $196.5 million in Q4 2019.
Its combined ratio was 52.9 percent in 2020, up from 25.5 percent in 2019. For Q4 its combined ratio increased to 44.5 percent, from 25.1 percent in Q4 the previous year.
Essent also approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.16 per common share, payable on March 19, 2021, to shareholders of record on March 10.
Mark Casale, Essent’s chairman and chief executive officer, admitted 2020 had been a challenging year but said he was pleased with the confidence that its buy, manage and distribute operating model had given stakeholders during the pandemic.
“We were also pleased with housing’s resilience, which remains the bright spot in the economy entering 2021 as supply-demand imbalances and favorable first-time home buying trends persist which are positive for our franchise,” Casale added.
Essent Group, Mark Casale, Results