ZURICH--Jan 27, 2015--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE Limited (NYSE: ACE) today reported net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, of $1.66 per share, compared with $2.90 per share for the same quarter last year.(1) Operating income was $2.47 per share, compared with $2.39 per share for the same quarter last year. Book value per share declined 0.4% from September 30, 2014, to $90.02, primarily due to unfavorable foreign currency movement. Excluding foreign currency movement, book value per share increased 1.6%. Tangible book value per share decreased 1.9% to $72.61, primarily due to unfavorable foreign currency movement and the impact of goodwill and intangibles relating to the acquisition closed during the quarter. Tangible book value per share increased 2.4% excluding the impact of foreign currency movement and the acquisition closed during the quarter. Operating return on equity for the quarter was 11.8%. The property and casualty (P&C) combined ratio for the quarter was 88.5%.
|Fourth Quarter Summary|
|(in millions, except per share amounts)|
|(Per Share - Diluted)|
|Operating income, net of tax||$||827||$||824||0.4||%||$||2.47||$||2.39||3.3||%|
|Adjusted net realized gains (losses), net of tax||
For the year ended December 31, 2014, net income was $8.42 per share, compared with $10.92 per share for 2013. Operating income was $9.79 per share, compared with $9.35 per share for 2013, an increase of 4.7%. Book value and tangible book value per share increased 6.1% and 5.3%, respectively, from December 31, 2013. Excluding foreign currency movement, book value per share increased 8.8%. Tangible book value per share increased 11.3% excluding the impact of foreign currency movement and acquisitions closed during the year. Operating return on equity for the year was 12%. The P&C combined ratio for the year ended December 31, 2014, was 87.7%.
|Full Year Summary|
|(in millions, except per share amounts)|
|(Per Share - Diluted)|
|Operating income, net of tax||$||3,320||$||3,217||3.2||%||$||9.79||$||9.35||4.7||%|
|Adjusted net realized gains (losses), net of tax||(467||)||541||NM||(1.37||)||1.57||NM|
Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ACE Limited, commented: “ACE had excellent operating results for the fourth quarter which contributed to another record year. Quarterly and annual results were driven by growth in both underwriting and investment income. Record full-year after-tax operating income of $3.3 billion was up 4.7% per share with a strong operating ROE of 12%.
“Our P&C combined ratio was 88.5% for the quarter and 87.7% for the year with fourth quarter and full-year underwriting income both up over 7%. Our excellent underwriting results were driven by a particularly strong current accident year performance, which reflects the fundamental strength of our current year business. Current accident year underwriting income excluding catastrophes was up 23% for the quarter and 13% for the year.
“Net investment income was a record $577 million in the quarter and $2.3 billion for the year, up more than 5%. We benefited from strong operating cash flow and achieved an exceptional result given the historically low interest rate environment.
“For the quarter and year, global P&C net premiums written grew about 6% and 7%, respectively, on a constant-dollar basis with the strong dollar negatively impacting growth by about 2.8 percentage points in the quarter and 1.2 percentage points for the year. Per share book value declined modestly in the quarter and grew 6.1% for the year with foreign exchange negatively impacting book value by $596 million in the quarter and $747 million for the year. Excluding foreign currency movement, book value per share grew 8.8% for the year. There has been a rapid investor flight to the dollar in search of safety, driven by the decline in oil prices, economic uncertainty in many countries and regions, and geopolitical tensions. ACE is a truly global multinational insurer, and we are dollar-based. Our diversified presence, product and customer capabilities, and distribution focus in 54 countries are a unique source of earnings strength that enables us to take advantage of so many opportunities around the globe over time.
“In the quarter, we closed our acquisition of the large corporate P&C business of Brazil’s Itaú Seguros and announced our intention to purchase the U.S. high net worth personal lines business of Fireman’s Fund. These are just two of many investments we made last year in the future of our company that will strengthen our presence and capabilities and increase our ability to produce sustainable outperformance. We are off to a good start in January and we remain confident in our strategy and are relentless in our drive to execute with excellence.”
Operating highlights for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2014, were as follows:
(in millions of U.S. dollars except for
|Net premiums written||$||3,803||$||3,712||2.4||%||$||15,787||$||15,053||4.9||%|
|Net premiums written constant-dollar||$||3,621||5.0||%||$||14,913||5.9||%|
|Current accident year underwriting income excluding catastrophe losses||$||406||$||330||23.3||%||$||1,659||$||1,469||13.0||%|
|Current accident year combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses||89.5||%||91.5||%||89.3||%||90.0||%|
Global P&C (excludes Agriculture)
|Net premiums written||$||3,559||$||3,456||3.0||%||$||14,197||$||13,426||5.7||%|
|Net premiums written constant-dollar||$||3,365||5.8||%||$||13,286||6.9||%|
|Current accident year underwriting income excluding catastrophe losses||$||347||$||350||(0.7||)%||$||1,476||$||1,386||6.6||%|
|Current accident year combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses||90.2||%||89.9||%||89.4||%||89.4||%|
|Net premiums written||$||244||$||256||(5.0||)%||$||1,590||$||1,627||(2.3||)%|
|Underwriting income (loss)||$||59||$||(22||)||NM||$||136||$||89||52.8||%|
|Current accident year underwriting income (loss) excluding catastrophe losses||$||59||$||(20||)||NM||$||183||$||83||121.1||%|
|Current accident year combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses||82.4||%||104.8||%||87.8||%||95.1||%|
Details of financial results by business segment are available in the ACE Limited Financial Supplement. Key segment items for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2014, include:
Please refer to the ACE Limited Financial Supplement, dated December 31, 2014, which is posted on the company's website in the Investor Information section, and access Financial Reports for more detailed information on individual segment performance, together with additional disclosure on reinsurance recoverable, loss reserves, investment portfolio and capital structure.
ACE will hold its fourth quarter earnings conference call on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The earnings conference call will be available via live webcast at www.acegroup.com or by dialing 888-297-0339 (within the United States) or 719-457-2506 (international), passcode 1087118. Please refer to the ACE Group website in the Investor Information section under Calendar of Events for details. A replay of the call will be available until Wednesday, February 11, 2015, and the archived webcast will be available for approximately one month. To listen to the replay, please dial 888-203-1112 (in the United States) or 719-457-0820 (international), passcode 1087118.
About ACE Group
ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 54 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at: www.acegroup.com.
(1) All comparisons are with the same period last year unless specifically stated.
Regulation G - Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In presenting our results, we included and discussed certain non-GAAP measures. These non-GAAP measures, which may be defined differently by other companies, are important for an understanding of our overall results of operations and financial condition. However, they should not be viewed as a substitute for measures determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
Adjusted net realized gains (losses), net of tax, includes net realized gains (losses) and net realized gains (losses) recorded in other income (expense) related to unconsolidated subsidiaries, and excludes realized gains and losses on crop derivatives. These derivatives were purchased to provide economic benefit, in a manner similar to reinsurance protection, in the event that a significant decline in commodity pricing will impact underwriting results. We view gains and losses on these derivatives as part of the results of our underwriting operations, and therefore realized gains and losses from these derivatives are reclassified to adjusted losses and loss expenses. The P&C combined ratio includes adjusted losses and loss expenses in the ratio numerator.
Net premiums written on a constant-dollar basis is a financial measure which excludes the impact of foreign exchange. We believe it is useful to evaluate the trends in net premiums written, exclusive of the effect of fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the currencies in which our international business is transacted, as these exchange rates could fluctuate significantly between periods and distort the analysis of trends. The impact is determined by assuming constant foreign exchange rates between periods by translating prior period results using the same local currency exchange rates as the comparable current period.
Underwriting income, P&C underwriting income, and Global P&C underwriting income are calculated by subtracting losses and loss expenses, policy benefits, policy acquisition costs and administrative expenses from net premiums earned. P&C underwriting income also includes gains (losses) on crop derivatives. We use underwriting income and operating ratios to monitor the results of our operations without the impact of certain factors, including net investment income, other income (expense), interest and income tax expense and adjusted net realized gains (losses). Current accident year underwriting income excluding catastrophe losses is underwriting income adjusted to exclude catastrophe losses and prior period development (PPD). We believe it is useful to exclude catastrophe losses, as they are not predictable as to timing and amount, and PPD as these unexpected loss developments on historical reserves are not indicative of our current underwriting performance. We believe the use of these measures enhances the understanding of our results of operations by highlighting the underlying profitability of our insurance business.
Operating income or income excluding adjusted net realized gains (losses), net of tax is a common performance measurement for insurance companies. We believe this presentation enhances the understanding of our results of operations by highlighting the underlying profitability of our insurance business. We exclude adjusted net realized gains (losses) because the amount of these gains (losses) is heavily influenced by the availability of market opportunities.
P&C combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses and PPD or current accident year P&C combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses exclude impacts of catastrophe losses and PPD. We believe this measure provides a better evaluation of our core underwriting performance and enhances the understanding of the trends in our property and casualty business that may be obscured by these items.
Global P&C performance metrics comprise consolidated operating results (including corporate) and exclude the operating results of the company’s Life and Insurance – North American Agriculture segments. We believe that these measures are useful and meaningful to investors as they are used by management to assess the company’s global P&C operations which are the most economically similar. We exclude the Insurance – North American Agriculture and Life segments because the results of these businesses do not always correlate with the results of our global P&C operations.
Life net premiums written and deposits collected, excluding life reinsurance, is adjusted to include deposits collected on universal life and investment contracts (life deposits) and exclude results from our life reinsurance business. Life deposits are not reflected as revenues in our consolidated statements of operations in accordance with GAAP. We include life deposits in presenting growth in our Life business because new life deposits are an important component of production and key to our efforts to grow our business. We exclude results associated with life reinsurance as there is no new life reinsurance business currently being written.
Operating return on equity (ROE) or ROE calculated using operating income is an annualized financial measure. The ROE numerator includes income adjusted to exclude adjusted net realized gains (losses), net of tax. The ROE denominator includes the average shareholders' equity for the period adjusted to exclude unrealized gains (losses) on investments, net of tax. To annualize a quarterly rate, multiply by four. Annualized ROE calculated using operating income is a useful measure as it enhances the understanding of the return on shareholders' equity by highlighting the underlying profitability relative to shareholders' equity excluding the effect of unrealized gains and losses on our investments.
Tangible book value per common share is shareholders' equity less goodwill and other intangible assets divided by the shares outstanding. We believe that goodwill and other intangible assets are not indicative of our underlying insurance results or trends and make book value comparisons to less acquisitive peer companies less meaningful.
Tangible book value per common share excluding 2014 acquisitions is shareholders' equity less goodwill and other intangible assets divided by the shares outstanding. The numerator adds back the goodwill and other intangible assets related to the 2014 acquisitions of the large corporate P&C insurance business of Itaú Seguros, S.A. and The Siam Commercial Samaggi Insurance PCL in order to control for the distortive effect of acquisitions. In addition, we disclose per share measures that exclude the impact of foreign currency fluctuations during the year in order to adjust for the distortive effects of fluctuations in exchange rates.
Other income (expense) – operating excludes from consolidated Other income (expense) the portion of net realized gains and losses related to unconsolidated entities and gains and losses from fair value changes in separate account assets that do not qualify for separate account reporting under GAAP. Net realized gains (losses) related to unconsolidated entities is excluded from operating income in order to enhance the understanding of our core results of operations as they are heavily influenced by, and fluctuate in part according to market conditions.
See reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures on pages 22-24 in the Financial Supplement. These measures should not be viewed as a substitute for net income, return on equity, or effective tax rate determined in accordance with GAAP.
NM - not meaningful comparison
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Forward-looking statements made in this press release, such as those related to company performance including 2015 performance and growth opportunities, reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including without limitation, the following: competition, pricing and policy term trends, the levels of new and renewal business achieved, the frequency of unpredictable catastrophic events, actual loss experience, uncertainties in the reserving or settlement process, integration activities and performance of acquired companies, new theories of liability, judicial, legislative, regulatory and other governmental developments, litigation tactics and developments, investigation developments and actual settlement terms, the amount and timing of reinsurance recoverable, credit developments among reinsurers, rating agency action, possible terrorism or the outbreak and effects of war, economic, political, regulatory, insurance and reinsurance business conditions, potential strategic opportunities including acquisitions and our ability to achieve and integrate them, as well as management's response to these factors, and other factors identified in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Given uncertainties, it is possible the closing of the above-referenced acquisition could also be delayed or not occur. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates on which they are made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
|Summary Consolidated Balance Sheets|
|(in millions of U.S. dollars, except per share data)|
|December 31||December 31|
|Insurance and reinsurance balances receivable||5,426||5,026|
|Reinsurance recoverable on losses and loss expenses||11,992||11,227|
|Unpaid losses and loss expenses||$||38,315||$||37,443|
|Total shareholders' equity||29,587||28,825|
|Total liabilities and shareholders' equity||$||98,248||$||94,510|
|Book value per common share||
|Summary Consolidated Financial Data|
|(in millions of U.S. dollars, except share, per share data, and ratios)|
|Three Months Ended||Year Ended|
|December 31||December 31|
|Gross premiums written||$||5,746||$||5,462||$||23,390||$||22,828|
|Net premiums written||4,326||4,216||17,799||17,025|
|Net premiums earned||4,370||4,363||17,426||16,613|
|Losses and loss expenses||2,416||2,517||9,649||9,348|
|Policy acquisition costs||764||702||3,075||2,659|
|Net investment income||577||557||2,252||2,144|
|Net realized gains (losses)||(210||)||154||(507||)||504|
|Other income (expense):|
|Gains (losses) from separate account assets||(3||)||9||2||16|
|Income tax expense||232||88||634||480|
|Diluted earnings per share:|
|Weighted average diluted shares outstanding||334.6||344.2||339.0||344.1|
P&C combined ratio
|Loss and loss expense ratio||58.6||%||61.3||%||58.3||%||59.6||%|
|Policy acquisition cost ratio||16.6||%||15.6||%||16.8||%||15.7||%|
|Administrative expense ratio||13.3||%||12.4||%||12.6||%||12.7||%|
|P&C combined ratio||88.5||%||89.3||%||87.7||%||88.0||%|
|P&C underwriting income||$||444||$||416||$||1,898||$||1,772|
|Other income (expense) - operating||$||(25||)||$||(27||)||$||(111||)||$||(123||)|
|Consolidated Supplemental Segment Information|
|(in millions of U.S. dollars)|
|Three Months Ended||Year Ended|
|December 31||December 31|
Gross Premiums Written
|Insurance – North American P&C||$||2,539||$||2,439||$||9,036||$||8,720|
|Insurance – North American Agriculture||302||217||2,378||2,661|
|Insurance – Overseas General||2,212||2,126||8,853||8,314|
Net Premiums Written
|Insurance – North American P&C||$||1,669||$||1,602||$||6,263||$||5,915|
|Insurance – North American Agriculture||244||256||1,590||1,627|
|Insurance – Overseas General||1,749||1,699||6,999||6,520|
Net Premiums Earned
|Insurance – North American P&C||$||1,560||$||1,511||$||6,107||$||5,721|
|Insurance – North American Agriculture||327||426||1,526||1,678|
|Insurance – Overseas General||1,758||1,700||6,805||6,333|
Operating Income (loss)
|Insurance – North American P&C||$||372||$||402||$||1,498||$||1,446|
|Insurance – North American Agriculture||45||(20||)||96||63|
|Insurance – Overseas General||294||279||1,163||1,094|