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Scor profit dips amid pressure in property/casualty lines

Posted On: Apr. 27, 2016 12:00 AM CST

Life reinsurance business boosted Scor S.E.'s first-quarter revenues, despite a slumping property/casualty reinsurance market, but the French reinsurer reported a lower profit.

Scor reported a profit of €170 million ($190.9 million) for the first quarter of 2016, down 2.9% compared with the first quarter of last year, the Paris-based reinsurer said Wednesday.

Gross written premiums in the first quarter were €3.28 billion ($3.68 billion), up 5.1% from the first quarter of 2015. Life reinsurance premiums increased 10.5% over the same period last year, while property/casualty premiums fell 1.6%.

Scor said the decline in property/casualty gross written premiums reflected the cancellation of its participation in a syndicate at Lloyd's of London and a drop in aviation business, among other factors.

Scor said its global property and casualty division posted a combined ratio of 89.7% for the first quarter of 2016 compared with 89.1% in the first quarter of 2015.

Scor said natural catastrophe losses in the first quarter of the year was low and contributed just 1.4 points to the property/casualty division's combined ratio.

It said the only material event had been an earthquake in Taiwan in February which resulted in claims of about €8 million ($9 million).The reinsurer's investment income was €176 million ($197.6 million) in the first three months of 2016 down 2.2% fromthe comparable period in 2015.

Scor said that at the April 1 renewals, rates were “nearly flat overall” for Scor Global property/casualty business “despite the pressure recorded on non-proportional accounts.”

“The reinsurance industry is facing economic, social, and political uncertainties in 2016 in an increasingly competitive environment,” said Denis Kessler, chairman and CEO of Scor, in a statement.

“Our teams are taking this fully into account in the preparation of the group's new strategic plan, which is due to be unveiled in September,” he added.