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AXIS Capital Reports Second Quarter Operating Income Of $113 Million

The market environment for our businesses is showing ongoing improvement, and our underwriting operations are executing as expected in the current transitional market. Growth is strong in markets that have shown improvement in pricing and in lines where investment in product or geographic expansion in recent years is gaining traction. In other areas, which are for the most part stable or showing modest improvement, we have been actively optimizing portfolio composition to expand margin. We are confident that we have strategically and tactically positioned ourselves to deliver continued significant value growth to shareholders.”

Segment Highlights

Insurance Segment

Our insurance segment reported gross premiums written of $675 million in the quarter, comparable with the second quarter of 2011. Accident & health premiums written decreased quarter over quarter, largely due to timing of a large reinsurance treaty that was written in the first and second quarters of 2011 and renewed entirely in the first quarter of 2012. This reduction was largely offset by increases in our professional lines, property and liability lines of business. For the six months ended June 30, 2012, gross premiums written were $1.2 billion, up 8% from same period of 2011. This increase was driven by strategic growth opportunities, including our accident & health line, and an improving rate environment. Net premiums written decreased 6% for the second quarter, due to the aforementioned reduction in accident & health premiums as well as changes in certain of our ceded reinsurance programs. Net premiums earned increased 7% and 13%, respectively, for the second quarter and year to date; this growth reflected written premium growth over the past year, largely related to newer geographies and initiatives (including accident & health) and rate increases.

Our insurance segment reported underwriting income of $25 million for the quarter, compared to $20 million for the second quarter of 2011. The current quarter’s underwriting results reflected a combined ratio of 93.7%, compared with 94.4% in the prior year quarter. The segment’s current accident year loss ratio decreased from 68.1% in the second quarter of 2011 to 67.6% this quarter, with both quarters similarly impacted by U.S. weather events. Net favorable prior year reserve development was $35 million, or 9.2 points, this quarter compared with $27 million, or 7.5 points, in the second quarter of 2011. Acquisition costs primarily increased due to business mix changes and the increase in general and administrative expenses reflected the continued build-out of the segment’s global platform over the past year. For the six months ended June 30, 2012, we recognized underwriting income of $35 million, compared with a loss of $28 million for the prior year; the difference was largely attributable to a lower level of natural catastrophe activity.

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