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Insurer XL's profit soars to $300.8M in 2013 fourth quarter


XL Group P.L.C posted 2013 fourth-quarter net income of $300.8 million, up almost fourfold from the $81.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, the insurer and reinsurer said Thursday.

The dramatic increase in profitability was “primarily due to lower natural catastrophe losses in the current quarter and higher net income from investment funds and investment manager operating affiliates as compared to the prior-year quarter,” the company said in its earnings statement.

Fourth-quarter net written premiums totaled $1.07 billion, down 19.7% from the year-ago period. Net investment income was $240.8 million, down 1.7% from a year ago.

The company's combined ratio for the fourth quarter was 93.3% compared with 105.9% in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Net income from investment fund and investment manager operating affiliates was $77.7 million in the quarter, compared with income of $31.5 million in the prior year quarter, the company said.

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, XL had net income of $1.06 billion, up 62.7% from 2012.

Net written premiums totaled $5.90 billion, down 0.9% from 2012. Net investment income slid 5.4% to $957.7 million.

The combined ratio for 2013 was 92.5% compared with 96.3% in 2012.

“2013 was another year of solid progress, strengthened results and improvement for XL,” CEO Mike McGavick said in the statement.

“Year-over-year, we grew P&C underwriting profit, improved both our calendar and accident year P&C combined ratios, and achieved double-digit operating return on equity performance, ex-unrealized gains and losses,” Mr. McGavick said