AXIS Capital Holdings closed out its 2018 fourth quarter with a nearly $200 million net loss, something President and CEO Albert Benchimol blamed largely on higher property catastrophe losses.
The company booked a 117.3 overall combined ratio in Q4 compared to 100.7 over the same period a year ago.
Benchimol, in prepared remarks, noted the loss and higher catastrophe costs, and the “unsatisfactory results” they produced, particularly for reinsurance. He insisted, however, that the company’s full-year underwriting performance improved even with the catastrophe loss cost surge. The company’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its portfolio will counter this longer term, he said.
“We anticipate that recent improvements in pricing and market discipline will also have a positive impact on the pace of our improvements,” he said.
The Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer reported a net loss of $198 million for Q4, or negative $2.37 per diluted common share, compared to a $38 million net loss, or negative $0.46 per diluted common share in the 2017 fourth quarter.
He said that AXIS strengthened its position in a number of markets, including at Lloyd’s as the company integrated its $611.5 million acquisition of Novae Group plc, which closed in late 2017.
Here are highlights from Q4 and the full year: