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Mercer Insurance Group Announces 4th Qtr and 2009 Earnings

Source: CNN

Posted on 26 Feb 2010

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Mercer Insurance Group, Inc. reported its operating results today for the year and quarter ended December 31, 2009.

4th Quarter highlights:

* Net income of $0.57 per diluted share versus $0.10 per diluted share in the prior year's quarter

* Operating income of $0.54 per diluted share, which was the same as the prior year's quarter

* A GAAP combined ratio of 96.5% versus 98.4% in the prior year's quarter

* Book value per diluted share of $25.63 at December 31, 2009, as compared to $22.21 for the previous year

Andrew R. Speaker, President and CEO, noted, "We are pleased that our disciplined underwriting and aggressive expense management resulted in earnings for 2009 being among our strongest ever, despite the difficulty of a recessionary economy. We thank our employees and agents, our partners in the business, for helping us achieve these results and a 2009 combined ratio of 97.6%."

Speaker commented further, "Our investment portfolio performed well in 2009, with a significant recovery of value, which attests to the overall quality of the portfolio. In addition, we were able in 2009 to trim the portfolio of some assets that we thought may encounter difficulty, such as commercial mortgage backed securities. Our financial position is strong, with shareholders equity growing by 17% in 2009, and an ending book value of $25.63 per share."

"The new products and technological advances we have introduced are gaining traction, and helping to reduce the impact of the difficult economy on our book as insureds' exposures are reduced in the continuing weak business environment. The combination of all these items has positioned us well to compete in an environment we expect will continue to be challenging."