Catlin profits up with hurricane effects still to come
Caribbean insurance provider Catlin has recorded a 16% increase in profits to bring in $111.2 million in H1 this year compared with $95.8 million in 2004. Value per share grew by 7.8% from $6.30 at the end of December 2004 to $6.79. Net premiums earned increased from $548.2 million in 2004 to $627.1 million in the current half year. Meanwhile, the company's combined ratio was stable at 82.3%, which was 0.5 percentage points above the previous year's level. Catlin said that its interim dividend will increase by 2 cents from 7.9 to 9.9 cents. Commenting on the group's interim results, CEO Stephen Catlin said: "The first half of 2005 was a successful period for Catlin with both net income and book value per share increasing substantially. This performance demonstrates Catlin's determination to underwrite in a disciplined manner as market competition increases." However, Catlin has warned that losses from Hurricane Katrina provisional stand at an estimated $275 million gross of reinsurance and $125 million net of reinsurance, which is comparable with all the company's total 2004 hurricane losses. The Caribbean insurer said that the negative impact would be reflected in second half results.