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Everest Re posts profit for 2006


HAMILTON, Bermuda--A benign storm season allowed Everest Re Group Ltd. to post profits of $840.8 million for 2006, compared with a loss in the year-ago period.

Everest Re--which suffered nearly $1 billion in aftertax losses stemming from the devastating trio of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma--recorded a net loss of $218.7 million for 2005.

"The lack of catastrophe losses coupled with a firmer rate environment contributed to strong accident year results in 2006," Everest Re said in a statement.

The Hamilton, Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer additionally boosted net income for the fourth quarter of 2006 to $206.4 million, up from a net loss of $162.2 million in 2005.

The company's combined ratio for the quarter also improved to 92.9%, compared with 142.8% in the prior-year period.