W. R. Berkley Corporation reported net income for the first quarter of 2013 of $117 million, or 83 cents per share, compared with $135 million, or 94 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2012.
Commenting on the company's performance, William R. Berkley, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "We had a good quarter, setting the foundation for an excellent year. Our business is showing continued signs of improvement, and we are well positioned to take advantage of the positive rate environment.
"The benefits of our improved pricing are slowly being reflected in our financial results. We see new opportunities created by the current underwriting environment as prices continue to increase faster than loss costs. Our management team recognizes that to achieve adequate returns in the current low interest rate environment, increased underwriting margins are required. We believe this is attainable.
"The core fixed income investment portfolio continues to perform well, with investment yields that remain above current market rates. Short-term fears of inflation seem to have abated, making us less eager to further reduce the duration of our portfolio. We continue to search the range of investment offerings for yield as well as capital gains, but we will not sacrifice quality nor do we intend to extend duration.
"We are optimistic that our business will continue to improve, and 2013 will be an excellent year," Mr. Berkley concluded.