Posted on 03 Feb 2010
ACE Limited on Tuesday reported net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, of $2.81 per share, compared with $0.06 per share for the same quarter last year.
Income excluding net realized gains (losses) was $2.01 per share, compared with $1.86 per share for the same quarter last year. Book value increased $934 million during the quarter, up 5% from September 30, 2009. Book value per share now stands at $58.44. Annualized return on average equity for the quarter was 14.2%. The property and casualty (P&C) combined ratio for the quarter was 89.6%.
Net income for the year ended December 31, 2009, was $7.55 per share, compared with $3.50 per share for 2008. Income excluding net realized gains (losses) was $8.17 per share, compared with $7.67 per share for 2008. Full year return on average equity was 16.2%. Book value increased $5.2 billion, up 36% for the year. The P&C combined ratio was 88.3% for the year.
Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ACE Limited, commented: “ACE had very strong fourth quarter income. Operating income was up 9% over prior year, contributing to record income for the year, and net income exceeded $900 million for the quarter. Our book value grew 36% in the year while tangible book grew 47%; both are now at all-time highs. In fact, over the last five years, we have grown our book and tangible book value at a compound annual rate of 15% and 17%, respectively.
“Our P&C combined ratio for 2009 was 88.3% – a world-class result – and in terms of capital efficiency, we achieved an operating return on equity for the year of more than 16%. We are confident we can continue to produce superior ROEs barring unforeseen events.
“P&C net written premiums were up about 9% in the quarter – a very solid performance that reflects the benefit of foreign exchange. While premium revenue growth will continue to be impacted by recessionary and competitive insurance market conditions, we are seeing more opportunities for profitable growth as a result of our increased geographic and product presence.
“In spite of the year’s challenging economic, financial and insurance market conditions, we continued to invest in our company and benefit from our local presence in over 50 countries, from customer and producer flight to quality and capability, and from our diversified mix of P&C, A&H and Life businesses. We fully expect to continue delivering superior results.”