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Arch Capital profits soar on calm cat season


HAMILTON, Bermuda--A tame hurricane season helped Arch Capital Group Ltd. post profits of $453.3 million for the first nine months of 2006, nearly triple the year-earlier period.

The Hamilton, Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer posted net income of $185.8 million for the quarter vs. a net loss--stemming from heavy 2005 hurricane activity--of $86.3 million in the prior-year period.The third quarter of 2006 "did not include any material catastrophic activity," Arch noted in a statement.

Arch reported higher gross written premiums for the nine-month period, increasing to $3.41 billion compared with $2.97 billion last year.

The company's combined ratio was 86.3% for first nine months of this year, an improvement from 98.9% for the first nine months of 2005.