5 February 2020News

Markel puts 2018 losses behind it with $1.8 billion profit for 2019

Markel put a difficult year in 2018 behind it by posting healthy net profits for the year in 2019, while also reporting significantly improved profits for Q4 compared to the previous year.

The re/insurer reported net profit of $1.79 billion for 2019, turning around a $128 million loss for the full year in 2018. For Q4 2019 it generated net profit of $511.1 million, compared to a net loss of $751.5 million for the same period in 2018.

Gross written premiums for 2019 were $8.78 billion, up from $7.86 billion the previous year. Of this, $1.11 billion was written in its reinsurance business, edging up from $1.05 billion the previous year.

For Q4 2019 gross written premiums were $2.01 billion, up from $1.78 billion in the same period of 2018. That included a $151 million contribution from its reinsurance operation in Q4 2019, up from $115.4 million in Q4 2018.

Markel had a consolidated combined ratio of 94 percent in 2019 compared to 98 percent in 2018. For Q4 its combined ratio was 93 percent, down from 108 percent in the same period of 2018.

In its reinsurance business specifically it reported a combined ratio of 104 percent, down from 113 percent in 2018, and 120 percent for Q4 2019, down from 151 percent the previous year.

Thomas Gayner and Richard Whitt, Markel’s co-chief executive officers, said: “We are proud of what we accomplished in 2019 and want to thank our dedicated associates for their significant contributions, which support our aspiration to become one of the world's great companies."