Markel profits soar & combined ratio improves


Financial holding company Markel Corporation posted a solid set of results for the second quarter of 2015.

In the second quarter of 2015, Markel’s profits increased to $91.4 million, compared with $40.1 million in the second quarter of 2014.

However, its comprehensive loss to shareholders was $132.9 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared to comprehensive income to shareholders of $250.6 million for the second quarter of 2014.

Markel’s combined ratio improved 5 percentage points to 96 percent for the second quarter of 2015, compared with 101 percent for the second quarter of 2014, driven by more favourable development on prior years' loss reserves in 2015.

Alan Kirshner, chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Our Markel Ventures operations made substantial contributions to our results during 2015 and our underwriting results improved significantly compared to last year.

“Book value per share at June 30, 2015 was impacted by unfavourable movements in our fixed maturity portfolio, as a result of the increase in interest rates during 2015. We continue to exercise a disciplined underwriting approach, despite soft market conditions, and will only write business that supports our underwriting profit targets.”

William Stovin, president of Markel International, added: “In the first half of the year our underlying business, at constant exchange rates and allowing for our exit from the unattractive UK motor treaty market, saw volume up on last year.  While pricing pressure continued to be felt, we are pleased with the underwriting performance for the half year, which underlines our unwillingness to write unprofitable business.

“We continue to make important senior appointments including David Sawyer, as a new head of professional indemnity, and Chay Wilkinson, as claims director in Singapore. Although small in absolute terms, we are pleased with the early development of our business in Dubai.”

Markel Corporation, Alan Kirshner, William Stovin, Second Quarter 2015 Results, North America

Bermuda Re