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CNA profit rises sharply in second quarter


CNA Financial Corp. on Monday said second-quarter 2016 net income soared 51.5% over the same period last year to $209 million, due to improved underwriting results in both property/casualty and specialty insurance segments.

The property/casualty segment had another “solid and steady” quarter, Thomas F. Motamed, CNA’s chairman and CEO said on a call with analysts Monday, “driven by favorable prior-year loss development across all of the property and casualty segments and achieved despite a higher level of catastrophe losses and a higher-than-expected number of large losses in international.”

Catastrophe losses were $58 million after tax compared with $39 million after tax in the prior year quarter, the statement said, with catastrophe losses primarily from U.S. weather-related events and the Fort McMurray, Alberta, wildfires.

The Chicago-based insurer’s property/casualty net written premiums for the second quarter ending June 30 dipped 0.8%, to $1.63 billion, compared with the second quarter of 2015.

Net written premiums for the specialty segment for the second quarter increased 2.8% from the second quarter in 2015, to $691 million

CNA’s combined ratio for its property/casualty segment improved to 97.4% from 98.4% in the same quarter last year, while the specialty division improved to 85.4% from 91.2%.

However, the company’s combined ratio for its international segment deteriorated to 118.6% from 92.2% in the prior-year quarter, according to the statement.

The quarter was “challenging” for the international segment, Mr. Motamed said, due to the number of large losses in Europe and London markets division CNA Hardy, primarily in political risk, property and financial institutions, he said during the conference call.

Mr. Motamed said in Monday’s news release that although CNA’s international segments had a “disappointing” quarter, the CEO was pleased with the results of the quarter overall. “All of our North American businesses produced solid results, led by another great underwriting result,” Mr. Motamed said in the statement.

Net income for the six-month period of 2016 was down 25.9%, to $275 million, from the same period in 2015.

Six-month property/casualty net written premiums were $3.3 billion, a decrease of 0.4% from the first six months of last year.

CNA’s combined ratio for the first six months of the year improved to 96.8% from 98.6%.