Argo Q4 Income Drops 89%; Arch Down 40%

NU Online News Service, Feb. 15, 12:59 p.m. EST

Argo Group International Holdings says 2011 fourth-quarter net income was down 89 percent while fellow Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer Arch Capital Group says net income fell 40 percent during the last quarter.

An estimate pre-tax catastrophe loss of $36.1 million cut into profits for Argo, which reports net income of $1.4 million for the fourth quarter compared to net income of $12.8 million during the same time the prior year.

The quarter’s catastrophe loss total includes $27.5 million of losses related to flooding in Thailand, Argo says.

The flooding also affected Arch’s fourth-quarter earnings, which finished at $136.8 million compared to $227.7 million during the fourth quarter in 2010.

Of the $70.8 million in catastrophe losses recorded by Arch in the fourth quarter, $60.6 million can be attributed to Thailand. Losses also included $5.4 million an Australian hailstorm during the fourth quarter and increases in losses from events throughout 2011, which was a historic year for industry catastrophe losses.

Arch’s yearly net earnings were halved in 2011 compared to 2010—$410.5 million compared to $816.7 million.

Argo reports a net loss of $82.4 million in 2011 compared to a gain of $82.6 in 2010.

The combined ratio at Argo for the year was 119.9 compared to 103.2 in 2010.

Arch posts a combined ratio of 98.3 for the year, compared to 92.5 the prior year.

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