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Alterra Capital Reports First Quarter 2012 Results

Alterra Capital Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: ALTE; BSX: ALTE.BH) (“Alterra”) today reported net income of $79.0 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012, compared to a net loss of $46.7 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, for the same quarter of 2011.

Net operating income for the first quarter of 2012 was $67.8 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, compared to a net operating loss of $24.7 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the same quarter of 2011. Annualized net operating return on average shareholders’ equity for the first quarter of 2012 was 9.6%.

W. Marston (Marty) Becker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alterra, said: “We started the year off with a solid quarter and the financial results reflect a good balance between underwriting and investment performance. Our operating return on equity was just under 10%, making this the fourth consecutive quarter in which we have grown book value per share. Alterra’s newer segments and teams in U.S. insurance, Alterra at Lloyd’s and Latin America are still maturing, and with modest levels of earned premium are showing expense ratios that are higher than our ultimate expectations. While our selected loss ratios for these segments and teams will remain conservative until we see more actual loss experience, we are pleased with their progress to date.”

“The market has firmed materially for any risk that has property catastrophe exposure, and has firmed somewhat for certain other lines of business. It is encouraging to us that the remaining rates are no longer going down, and that terms and conditions are generally more balanced. We continue to expect positive rate movement through the balance of 2012, and believe Alterra is well positioned to take advantage of underwriting opportunities as better times return,” Mr. Becker concluded.

First quarter 2012 results for Alterra include:

  • Property and casualty gross premiums written of $660.9 million, representing an increase of $33.5 million, or 5.3%, compared to the same quarter of 2011;
  • Net premiums written of $436.4 million, representing a decrease of $53.6 million, or 10.9%, compared to the same quarter of 2011. This decrease reflects increased property reinsurance premiums ceded in order to manage aggregate property exposures across all segments, and a decrease in net premiums written on contract binding business in the U.S. insurance segment resulting from the sale of the renewal rights for this business in 2011;
  • A combined ratio on property and casualty business of 92.6%, compared to 112.5% for the same quarter of 2011;
  • A nominal level of property catastrophe event net losses, compared to net losses of $106.3 million, net of reinstatement premiums, in the same quarter of 2011;
  • Net favorable development on prior years’ loss reserves of $10.8 million, or 3.2 combined ratio points, compared to $30.2 million, or 8.0 combined ratio points, in the same quarter of 2011;
  • Net investment income of $58.7 million, compared to $57.8 million in the same quarter of 2011, an increase of 1.6%; and
  • Income of $9.2 million from New Point Re IV Limited, a sidecar in which Alterra has a 34.8% equity interest, consisting of fees and equity share earnings. Gross premiums written by New Point Re IV Limited were $80.2 million for the first quarter of 2012.

Gross premiums written (“GPW”) and net premiums written (“NPW”) from property and casualty underwriting for the first quarter of 2012 were as shown in the following table, with the increase/decrease compared to the same quarter of 2011:

             
Segment ($ in millions) GPW % Inc/(Dec) NPW % Inc/(Dec) Combined Ratio
 
Global Insurance $ 66.8 4.5 % $ 23.5 (7.3 %) 52.4 %
Reinsurance 318.4 (11.7 %) 258.9 (20.5 %) 93.4 %
 
U.S. Insurance 104.3 34.1 % 33.8 (14.3 %) 103.1 %
Alterra at Lloyd’s 146.1 35.5 % 107.5 27.0 % 108.2 %
Latin America 25.3 47.9 % 12.7 (15.6 %) 116.2 %
                 
Total $ 660.9 5.3 % $ 436.4 (10.9 %) 92.6 %
 

Balance Sheet

Total invested assets, including cash and cash equivalents, were $7,804.5 million as of March 31, 2012, a decrease of $10.2 million from December 31, 2011. As of March 31, 2012, 95.9% of the fixed maturities portfolio (by carrying value) was investment-grade, an increase from 94.4% as of December 31, 2011. As of March 31, 2012, the weighted average book yield of Alterra’s cash and fixed maturities portfolio was 3.36%, and the weighted average duration was 4.2 years.

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