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Berkley reports sharp increase in second-quarter profit

Berkley reports sharp increase in second-quarter profit

W.R. Berkley Corp. on Tuesday reported a profit of $180.1 million for the second quarter of 2018, a 65.2% increase over the same period last year on higher underwriting profit and investment income and lower taxes, among other things.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based insurer reported net written premium of $1.62 billion for the quarter, a 3.8% increase over the same period last year.

Most of the growth was in its insurance business, where net written premium increased 5.2% to $1.51 billion in the 2018 second quarter. Net written premium in its reinsurance business fell 12.3% to $110.6 million for the quarter.

The insurer’s combined ratio improved slightly to 94.9% compared with 95.1% in the same period last year.

The sharp jump in net income was due to higher underwriting profit, increased investment income, foreign currency gains and the cut in the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% in 2017, said Richard M. Baio, chief financial officer and treasurer, on a conference call with analysts.

Net investment income increased 13.7% to $153.8 million.

Pretax underwriting income increased 5.6% to $81 million, Mr. Baio said. “Improvement was due to higher earned premium and lower cat losses, with relatively flat underwriting expenses,” he said.



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