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TheStreet Open House

AXIS Capital Reports Second Quarter Operating Income Of $113 Million

Reinsurance Segment

Our reinsurance segment reported gross premiums written in the quarter of $339 million, down 7% from the second quarter of 2011. The reduction for the quarter was driven by motor and property business, partially offset by an increase in catastrophe premiums. For the six months ended June 30, 2012, gross premiums written were $1.3 billion, down 10% from the comparable period in 2011 largely as a result of our decision to withhold catastrophe capacity in the first quarter.

Our reinsurance segment reported underwriting income of $95 million for the quarter, compared to $9 million for the second quarter of 2011. The segment’s combined ratio decreased from 98.2% in the second quarter of 2011 to 79.5% for the second quarter of 2012. The current accident year loss ratio decreased from 77.4% in the second quarter of 2011 to 60.5% this quarter, with the difference largely attributable to a significant decrease in the level of natural catastrophe-related losses. Second quarter 2011 results included aggregate net pre-tax losses (net of reinstatement premiums) of $86 million, or 18.2 points, with respect to catastrophe and severe weather events. These aggregate net pre-tax losses included amounts related to the series of U.S. storms and tornadoes in April and May and New Zealand III, as well as a net increase in our estimate for first quarter 2011 events (the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, New Zealand II and the Australian weather events). During the second quarter of 2012, we recognized pre-tax net losses (net of reinstatement premiums) of $20 million, or 4.2 points, for second quarter U.S. weather events. Our estimate for first quarter 2012 U.S. weather events increased by $17 million during the second quarter; however, this increase was fully contained within IBNR reserves established during the first quarter. Net favorable prior period reserve development was $39 million, or 8.4 points, this quarter compared with $25 million, or 5.2 points, in the second quarter of 2011. The increase in acquisition costs was largely driven by business mix changes. For the six months ended June 30, 2012, our reinsurance segment reported underwriting income of $147 million, compared with an underwriting loss of $405 million for the comparable period of 2011. The significant decrease in the level of natural catastrophe activity was the primary driver of this variance.

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