EMC Insurance Group Inc. (Nasdaq:EMCI) today reported operating income of $0.58 per share for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011, compared to $0.71 per share for the fourth quarter of 2010 1. Operating loss for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2011 was $0.63 per share, compared to operating income of $2.21 for the same period in 2010. Net income, including realized investment gains and losses, totaled $9,306,000 ($0.72 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to $10,711,000 ($0.83 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2010. Net loss for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2011 was $2,098,000 ($0.16 per share) compared to net income of $31,346,000 ($2.40 per share) for the same period in 2010. “Our financial results for the fourth quarter were much closer to what we expected during 2011,” stated Bruce G. Kelley, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Catastrophe losses were within expectations, the equity portfolio improved, and we recorded premium growth in both our property and casualty insurance segment and our reinsurance segment.” “Unfortunately, our fourth quarter results could not undo the damage caused by the record catastrophe losses experienced during the first three quarters of the year,” continued Kelley. “For the year, catastrophe losses added an unprecedented 19.3 percentage points to our combined ratio, which is 11.6 percentage points greater than the Company’s most recent 10-year (2001 through 2010) average of 7.7 percentage points. 2011 also marked the fourth consecutive year of above average catastrophe losses. While this is not unprecedented, having most recently occurred during the period 1998 through 2001, it is also not common. What is unusual and will be remembered most about this current period of above average catastrophe losses is the fact that we established new records for catastrophe losses in two of the four years.” Premiums earned increased 8.4 percent to $111,768,000 for the fourth quarter of 2011, from $103,062,000 for the fourth quarter of 2010. For the year ended December 31, 2011, premiums earned increased 7.0 percent to $416,402,000 from $389,122,000 in 2010.