Investments show good returns boosted by rebounding economy
VANCOUVER, May 19 /CNW/ - ICBC reported its financial results for the first three months of 2010, with its investment income showing good returns on the back of a strengthening economy, and a positive claims picture developing as a result of both good weather and the 2010 Winter Games.
ICBC's net income for the first quarter of 2010 was $155 million, up from $117 million for the same period in 2009. Its investment portfolio made a strong contribution, with returns rising to $164 million for the first quarter of 2010 from $123 million for the same period in 2009. This is reflective of the recovery in the financial markets and ICBC's well-managed and diversified portfolio.
"The economy has managed to recover substantially if we compare the first quarter of 2010 with the first quarter of 2009 but we also need to be cautious when looking at results that are just for the first three months of the year," said Jon Schubert, ICBC's President and CEO. "As the year progresses we will have a fuller picture of what will happen with our rates but early indications are that we would not expect them to increase in 2010."
Another factor contributing to ICBC's first quarter results was an increase in premiums written - representing new or renewed insurance policies - up to $860 million from $843 million, and another sign of the strengthening provincial economy.
While claims and related costs were very consistent with the first quarter of 2009 - $733 million for the first three months of 2010 compared with $735 million for the same period in 2009 - claims frequency did decrease. This is, in part, due to long periods of dry and clear weather and our customers making smart driving decisions and supporting VANOC's goal of reducing traffic during the 2010 Winter Games.
ICBC's operating costs remain low and prudently managed but did increase to $142 million during the first quarter of 2010 from $131 million for the same period in 2009. This is reflective of the beginning of much-needed reinvestments in the business for the benefit of our customers. This multi-year investment will focus on improving the customer's experience and upgrading ICBC's technology systems to increase efficiency.
Note: ICBC's Statement of Operations for the three months ending March 31, 2010, accompanies this news release and is available at: http://www.icbc.com/about-ICBC/Newsroom/statementofops-31032010.pdf
For further information: For further information: Media contact: Adam Grossman, (604) 982-1332