AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. has plenty to crow about in its 2017 second quarter results. While its net income and net premiums written dipped, the Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer saw substantial improvement in its combined ratio with lower catastrophe losses.

AXIS produced $85 million in net income for Q2, or $1.01 per diluted common share. Last year, the number hit $119 million, or $1.29 per diluted common share. But net investment income soared to $106 million, up from $92 million in the 2016 second quarter. What’s more, AXIS produced a combined ratio of 97.6, down from 102.2 over the same period in 2016.

“This quarter we continued to take tangible actions and make strong progress in advancing our strategy to build long-term profitable growth for AXIS,” President and CEO Albert Benchimol said in prepared growth.

Benchimol added that AXIS’s underwriting results “absorbed the impact of a higher frequency of property losses and the continuing effect of the Ogden rate change, which reflects the benefits associated with our portfolio construction activities.”

Here are some of AXIS’s Q2 2017 highlights:

  • Gross premiums written came in at $1.4 billion, $42 million, or 3 percent higher than in Q2 2016.
  • Premiums grew by 6 percent, or $30 million, in the reinsurance segment and 2 percent, or $12 million in the insurance segment.
  • AXIS said that the insurance premiums written stem from liability lines driven by new business, and aviation lines connected to its recent acquisition of Aviabel. But a dip in property lines premiums written due to AXIS’s exit from some U.S. retail insurance operations helped, in part, to counter this. Reinsurance gains in gross premiums written came from AXIS’s motor, catastrophe and property lines, partially offset by a dip in agriculture lines.
  • Net premiums written landed at $956 million, 5 percent lower than in the 2016 second quarter.
  • Net premiums earned grew to $981 million, a 4 percent increase from the same period last year.
  • AXIS said that its total capital as of June 30 included $1 billion of senior notes and $0.8 billion in preferred equity, versus $7.3 billion at the end of 2016.

In July, AXIS announced it is spending $604 million to acquire Novae Group plc, a specialty insurer and reinsurer that operates through Lloyd’s of London. Benchimol said that Novae will “accelerate strategic initiatives and strengthen our positioning in the London market for international specialty risks.”

Source: AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd.