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XL Group hit with $475 million loss in 2011


DUBLIN—XL Group P.L.C. suffered a net loss of $474.8 million in 2011, the Dublin-based insurer and reinsurer reported Thursday.

That compared with a net profit of $585.5 million a year earlier. The company reported a $515.5 million net loss for the fourth quarter, “largely driven by a noncash goodwill impairment charge of $429.0 million in the fourth quarter,” the company said in a statement announcing the results.

XL reported natural catastrophe losses net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums of $761.1 million for the full year and $194.9 million for the fourth quarter.

XL said its property/casualty operations posted a combined ratio of 107.5% for the year, a deterioration from the 94.8% recorded in 2010. The combined ratio for the fourth quarter stood at 108.2%, a deterioration from 91.4% for the same quarter in 2010.

Gross written premiums grew 10.2% to $6.90 billion for the year, but declined 3.8% to $1.26 billion for the fourth quarter.

“XL was clearly impacted in 2011, like companies throughout the property and casualty industry, by a year that suffered from one of the largest aggregate worldwide catastrophe losses in history, including, most recently, the devastating Thailand floods,” said XL CEO Mike McGavick in the statement announcing the results.

“While we believe XL’s catastrophe loss profile, relative to our peers, showed the effectiveness of our risk management process, we also again experienced an unacceptable level of noncatastrophe insurance losses in isolated underwriting areas,” he said.