Endurance Specialty's Profit Up Sharply

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NU Online News Service, May 6, 9:57 a.m.EDT?Endurance Specialty Holdings said a strongerunderwriting performance led to a first-quarter profit of $51.2million, or 86 cents per share, up from $3.3 million, or five centsper share, for last year's first quarter.

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The Bermuda-based property-casualty insurance and reinsuranceprovider said its gross premiums written were $362.1 million forthe 2003 first quarter, up from $130.9 million during thecorresponding period last year. Net premiums written also rose, to$360.1 million, compared to $130.9 million in the quarter lastyear.

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Endurance also noted that its combined ratio for the firstquarter was 83.4 percent, an improvement over the 2002 firstquarter's loss-making 111.8 percent ratio.

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"Our focused underwriting platform and technical risk analysiscontinue to drive our company and its results," said Kenneth J.LeStrange, chairman and chief executive officer at Endurance.

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Mr. LeStrange also noted the company's completion of its initialpublic offering at the New York Stock Exchange, which raised morethan $220 million last February.

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"We have also met or exceeded our expectations in all criticalareas--including net income, return on equity and gross premiums,"Mr. LeStrange said.

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He added that Endurance's property catastrophe, casualty treatyand property treaty businesses all posted significant growth andthat the company continues to build a strong presence in its otherbusiness segments.

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Endurance offers a variety of property-casualty coverage throughits subsidiaries in Bermuda, the United Kingdom and the UnitedStates, with an emphasis on catastrophe policies. The company'sprimary lines include property individual risk and casualtyindividual risk, while reinsurance lines include property per risktreaty reinsurance and property catastrophe reinsurance, as well ascasualty treaty reinsurance.

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Chicago-based Aon Corporation owned 26 percent of Endurancebefore the IPO.

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