Platinum Offers 2004 Forecast

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NU Online News Service, Dec. 2, 3 :51 p.m.EST?Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd., the Bermuda-basedreinsurer spun off by The St. Paul Companies last year, said itestimates in 2004 it will have net premiums written of $1.4 billionand a combined ratio between 90 and 95.

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The forecast, Platinum said, is based on the current industryenvironment and the mix of business underwritten, and it assumesthe absence of any unusual catastrophe activity.[@@]

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The reinsurer also said it expects its portfolio of cash andfixed maturity investments to exceed $2.1 billion at the end of2004. On this basis, the company said, the 2004 earnings areexpected to go above $3 per share.

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For its third quarter, the reinsurer had reported last month$37.8 million in net income, with a combined ratio of 85.4. Thecompany had said net premiums written were $281.3 million and netpremiums earned came in at $272.3 million during its first thirdquarter since its public offering in Oct. 2002.

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Through its subsidiaries--Platinum Underwriters Reinsurance,Platinum Re U.K. and Platinum Underwriters Bermuda--PlatinumUnderwriters offers property and marine, casualty and finite riskreinsurance. The company is renewing all of St. Paul Re's existingcontracts.

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