Co-operators General Insurance Company Reports First Quarter 2016 Results

This quarterly earnings news release should be read in conjunction with our First Quarter 2016 unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) as well as our 2015 Annual Report which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Unless otherwise noted, all amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars. 

GUELPH, ON, April 28, 2016 /CNW/ - Co-operators General Insurance Company (Co-operators General) today released consolidated financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2016. The consolidated net income was $39.3 million compared to a net income of $22.2 million for the same quarter in 2015. This resulted in an earnings per share of $1.78 for the quarter compared to $0.98 in the same period last year.

"Our underwriting results improved year over year in spite of some increases in claims severity for a number of product lines," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "Overall, we are pleased that our core operations are performing very well and we continue to achieve excellent client and premium growth."

CO-OPERATORS GENERAL'S FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

($ in millions, except for earnings per share and ratios)


1st quarter
2016

1st quarter 
2015

Key financial data



Direct written premium (DWP)

519.5

489.1

Net earned premium (NEP)

588.5

550.5

Net income

39.3

22.2

Total assets1

5,248.8

5,303.2

Shareholders' equity1

1,501.3

1,458.6




Key success indicators



DWP growth  

6.2%

3.4%

NEP growth

6.9%

4.7%

Earnings per share

$1.78

$0.98

Return on equity

12.4%

6.9%

Combined ratio - excluding market yield adjustment 

95.4%

98.2%

Minimum Capital Test (MCT)1

227%

225%

1Balance sheet data and MCT results for 2015 are as at December 31

First quarter review

DWP improvements during the first quarter were attributable to policy and vehicle count growth in the home, auto and commercial lines of business paired with higher average home premiums. In the first quarter, DWP has increased by 6.2% or $30.4 million to $519.5 million. NEP increased during the first quarter by 6.9% or $38.0 million compared to the same period last year. The increase in NEP is seen in all geographic regions and all product lines.

The combined ratio, excluding the market yield adjustment for the quarter, was 95.4% compared to 98.2% for the same period last year. Undiscounted net claims and adjustment expenses have increased by 2.6% from the first quarter of 2015, bringing the loss ratio to 62.5%. The increase was driven by the severity of current accident year claims in the auto, home and farm lines of business, partially offset by a decrease in the severity of commercial accident year claims. Adjustments to the advisor commission structures led to the decrease in the expense ratio of 0.2 percentage points, to 32.9%, as compared to 33.1% for the same period in 2015.

Net investment income and gains decreased by $6.7 million versus the first quarter of 2015 as a decrease in realized bonds gains was partially offset by an increase in foreign currency forward contract gains. In the first quarter of 2016, realized bond gains were $17.5 million lower than during the same period in 2015, while the strength in the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar led to a $17.3 million increase in foreign exchange gains realized on foreign currency forward contracts.

Co-operators General's investment portfolio is comprised of high quality and well diversified assets. The credit quality of the portfolio remains high with 97.4% of the portfolio considered investment grade and 84.9% rated A or higher. The equity portfolio is 75.6% weighted in Canadian stocks.

Capital

The Company's capital position remains strong, as the Minimum Capital Test for Co-operators General was 227% at March 31, 2016, well above the internal and regulatory minimum requirements. 

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This document may contain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, including statements regarding the operations, objectives, strategies, financial situation and performance of Co-operators General. These statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "would", "should", "could", "trend", "predict", "likely", "potential" or "continue" or the negative thereof and similar variations. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risk, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements or information. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements and information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.  Consequently, we make no representation that actual results achieved will be the same in whole or in part as those set out in the forward-looking statements and information. For further information, refer to our First Quarter 2016 MD&A or our 2015 Annual Report.

SHAREHOLDER AND INVESTOR INFORMATION

About Co-operators General Insurance Company

With assets of more than $5.2 billion, Co-operators General is a leading Canadian multi-product insurance company. Co-operators General is part of The Co-operators Group Limited, a Canadian-owned co-operative. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, wealth management as well as investment management products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability, and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.

Co-operators General Class E, Series C Preference Shares trade under ticker symbol CCS.PR.C on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Further information can be found at www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: P. Bruce West, Executive Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Telephone: (519) 767-3036


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