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Bermuda reinsurers report increased profits


PEMBROKE, Bermuda--RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. and Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. on Monday reported separately a boost in profits for the first half of the year.

At the same time, both Bermuda-based companies reported slight declines to gross written premiums for the first half.

RenaissanceRe's year-to-date net income grew 21% to $374 million from $309.3 million in the first six months of 2006. For the second quarter, RenaissanceRe posted a 40.5% increase in profits to $183.2 million from $130.4 million in the same quarter in 2006.

The company's gross written premiums dipped, however, to $1.48 billion for the first half of the year from $1.49 billion last year.

"Through the first six months, we have written more property catastrophe reinsurance and less individual risk insurance than originally contemplated," noted RenaissanceRe Chief Executive Officer Neill A. Currie in a statement.

Meanwhile, at Endurance, net income for the first six months of 2007 was $237.2 million, 39% higher compared with $171 million in the same period last year. Second-quarter net income more than doubled to $135.3 million from $64.1 million in the year-prior period.

Total premiums written for the six months decreased 5.5% to $1.1 billion, due largely to nonrenewal of certain insurance and reinsurance accounts that "no longer met the company's underwriting standards," Endurance said.

"We will continue to be resourceful in identifying attractive new business, diligent in retaining our existing business and proactive in nonrenewing business that no longer meets our underwriting standards," said Kenneth J. LeStrange, Endurance's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.