PEMBROKE, Bermuda, Feb. 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:ENH) today reported net income of $111.2 million and $2.09 per diluted common share for the fourth quarter of 2010 versus net income of $154.8 million and $2.56 per diluted common share for the fourth quarter of 2009.

For the year ended December 31, 2010, net income was $364.7 million and $6.38 per diluted common share versus net income of $536.1 million and $8.69 per diluted common share for the year ended December 31, 2009.

Operating highlights for the quarter ended December 31, 2010 were as follows:
  • Net premiums written of $158.1 million, an increase of 8.0% over the same period in 2009;
  • Combined ratio of 84.6%, which included 5.2 percentage points of favorable prior year loss reserve development;
  • Net investment income of $56.9 million, a decrease of $2.4 million from the same period in 2009;
  • Operating income, which excludes after-tax realized investment gains and losses and foreign exchange gains and losses, of $108.3 million and $2.04 per diluted common share;
  • Operating return on average common equity for the quarter of 3.9%, or 15.6% on an annualized basis; and
  • Book value of $52.74 per diluted common share, up 1.76% from September 30, 2010.

Operating highlights for the year ended December 31, 2010 were as follows:
  • Net premiums written of $1,763.7 million, an increase of 9.8% over 2009;
  • Combined ratio of 88.7%, which included 7.3 percentage points of favorable prior year loss reserve development;
  • Net investment income of $200.4 million compared to $284.2 million for full year 2009;
  • Operating income, which excludes after-tax realized investment gains and losses and foreign exchange gains and losses, of $345.5 million and $6.03 per diluted common share;
  • Operating return on average common equity of 12.6%; and
  • Book value of $52.74 per diluted common share, an 18.2% increase from December 31, 2009.

David Cash, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "2010 was a strong year for Endurance both financially and strategically. The Company earned a 12.6% operating return on equity despite a number of large industry catastrophe losses and historically low fixed income yields, launched several strategic initiatives that will help extend our portfolio of specialty businesses and grew book value per share significantly."