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HCC Insurance Holdings Reports Earnings for the First Six Months of 2015

Highlights for the first six months:

  • Net earnings of $193.3 million, or $2.01 per diluted share
  • GAAP combined ratio of 86.7%
  • Annualized return on equity of 9.9%
  • Annualized operating return on equity(a) of 9.5%
  • Gross written premium increased 14% to $1.8 billion
  • Net written premium increased 16% to $1.4 billion
  • Book value per share increased to $40.94

HOUSTON, July 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC) today released results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2015.

Net earnings were $80.4 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $97.1 million, or $0.97 per diluted share, in the same quarter of 2014. Net earnings were $193.3 million, or $2.01 per diluted share, in the first six months of 2015, versus $205.0 million, or $2.04 per diluted share, in the same period of 2014. Net earnings in 2015 included after-tax losses from our recently acquired Agriculture business (ProAg) of $2.2 million, or $0.02 per share, in second quarter and $9.9 million, or $0.10 per share, in the first six months.

Net earnings also included after-tax foreign currency expense of $6.7 million, or $0.07 per share, in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $1.8 million, or $0.02 per share, in the same quarter of 2014. This result partially reversed the $11.7 million after-tax foreign currency benefit recorded in the first quarter of 2015. Foreign currency benefit/expense is excluded from operating earnings(a), which were $86.8 million, or $0.91 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $95.7 million, or $0.95 per diluted share, in the same quarter of 2014.

Christopher J.B. Williams, HCC's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are pleased with our results through six months, which were ahead of our expectations in each of our underwriting segments. The business environment remains challenging but rational in most of our product lines." Mr. Williams also stated, "The merger process is proceeding as expected and in line with the timeframes previously announced. We remain very excited about the pending merger with Tokio Marine and the opportunities it presents to continue growing our businesses."

The Company's combined ratio was 87.0% for the second quarter of 2015 (85.2% excluding ProAg), compared to 83.8% for the same quarter of 2014. The combined ratio was 86.7% for the first six months of 2015 (84.9% excluding ProAg), versus 83.6% for the same period of 2014. HCC had no reserve development in either the first six months of 2015 or 2014. The net paid loss ratio was 66.0% for the first half of 2015, compared to 61.0% for the same period of 2014. The 2015 net paid loss ratio includes 2.9 points related to a commutation in Exited Lines during the second quarter.

Gross written premium increased 17% to $977.8 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $832.7 million in the same quarter of 2014. Net written premium increased 18% to $766.1 million in the second quarter of 2015, versus $647.0 million in the same quarter of 2014. Net earned premium increased 12% to $641.8 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $572.2 million in the same quarter of 2014. Excluding ProAg, gross written premium decreased 2%, net written premium was flat and net earned premium increased 3% in the second quarter of 2015, compared to the same quarter of 2014.

In the first six months of 2015, compared to the same period of 2014, gross written premium increased 14% to $1.8 billion; net written premium increased 16% to $1.4 billion; and net earned premium increased 9% to $1.2 billion. Excluding ProAg, gross written premium decreased 1%, net written premium increased 2% and net earned premium increased 3% in the first six months of 2015, compared to the same period of 2014.

Investment income was $54.7 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $56.4 million in the same quarter of 2014, and $108.2 million in the first six months of 2015, versus $113.2 million in the same period of 2014. As of June 30, 2015, HCC's fixed maturity securities portfolio had an average rating of AA, a duration of 4.9 years and an average long-term tax equivalent yield of 4.1%.

HCC generated cash flow from operations of $32.8 million in the first six months of 2015, compared to $195.3 million in the same period of 2014. The first six months of 2015 included a $35.6 million outflow related to the commutation mentioned above. At June 30, 2015, the Company had $365.3 million of cash and short-term investments and $210.1 million of available capacity under its $825.0 million revolving loan facility.

The Company purchased 1.2 million shares of its common stock during the first six months of 2015 for $69.6 million at an average cost of $56.04 per share.

As of June 30, 2015, total assets were $11.1 billion, shareholders' equity was $3.9 billion and the Company's debt to total capital ratio was 18.8%.

In light of the pending merger with Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc., HCC has suspended its share repurchase program. In addition, the Company has elected to discontinue conference calls to discuss its quarterly and annual results until the transaction is completed. HCC will continue to issue quarterly earnings press releases and supplemental financial schedules, and expects to continue to pay its quarterly common shareholder dividends.

For further information about HCC's 2015 second quarter earnings results, see the supplemental financial schedules that are available in the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at http://ir.hcc.com.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. is a leading specialty insurer with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland. HCC's major domestic and international insurance companies have financial strength ratings of "AA (Very Strong)" from Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC, "A+ (Superior)" from A.M. Best Company, Inc., "AA (Very Strong)" from Fitch Ratings, and "A1 (Good Security)" from Moody's Investors Service, Inc.

For more information about HCC, please visit http://www.hcc.com.

a) Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Operating earnings and annualized operating return on equity are non-GAAP financial measures under Regulation G. Operating earnings are calculated as net earnings excluding after-tax net realized investment gain/loss, other-than-temporary impairment credit losses, and foreign currency benefit/expense. Annualized operating return on equity is calculated as operating earnings divided by average shareholders' equity excluding accumulated other comprehensive income. See the supplemental financial schedules for a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to corresponding GAAP amounts. Management believes operating earnings and annualized operating return on equity are useful measures for understanding the Company's profitability before consideration of investment-related gains/losses and foreign currency benefit/expense, both of which management excludes when evaluating operating results internally.

Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made under "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The types of risks and uncertainties which may affect the Company are set forth in its periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT: Doug Busker, Director of Investor Relations HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. Telephone: (713) 996-1192

Source:HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.