Reinsurance
Product Family

  • • P&C operations combined ratio of 96.4% for the quarter and 93.6% for the year
  • • Book value per ordinary share of $24.60 at December 31, 2009, an increase of 3% in the quarter and 59% for the full year
  • • Operating income(1) of $235.8 million, or $0.69 per ordinary share, for the quarter and $917.3 million, or $2.69 per ordinary share, for the full year
  • • Net loss of $40.3 million, or $0.12 per ordinary share, for the quarter, primarily due to $254.8 million of after-tax net realized losses on investments
  • • Net income of $206.6 million, or $0.61 per ordinary share, for the full year
  • • Full year return on equity based on operating income(1) of 13.5%

 

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Feb. 09 / -- XL Capital Ltd ("XL" or the "Company") today reported fourth quarter and full year 2009 results.

Commenting on the Company's performance, Chief Executive Officer Mike McGavick said: "Our results for the quarter and the full year clearly illustrate XL's re-emergence as a leading P&C company. Our top line in the fourth quarter of 2009 was within 3 points of the same quarter a year ago. Our P&C combined ratio was a healthy 96.4% for the quarter and 93.6% for the full year. Taken together, these metrics demonstrate that we were able to achieve a turnaround while maintaining our underwriting discipline and historically prudent reserving standards. And we did so even in the continued soft market.

"Successfully meeting the challenge to reduce expenses was one of the primary reasons we were able to achieve these strong results. Our cost-saving initiatives have allowed us to stem the tide of the difficult financial times and are intended to put XL in a competitively advantageous position.

"One of our key initiatives throughout the year has been to reposition the investment portfolio to one more typical of a P&C company, and to reduce its inherent volatility.

"During the quarter, we saw market prices approach intrinsic values for certain asset classes as a result of a technical driven spread rally but where the holdings were still exposed to weak fundamentals. We seized this opportunity to further de-risk our investment portfolio by selling $1.2 billion of such assets. The repositioning of our P&C portfolio is now 80% complete, and further reductions in legacy positions are more likely to occur over time from natural cash flows. Our attention has now turned to the optimal realignment of the portfolio rather than pure de-risking actions.

"Our strong operating income for the quarter of $235.8 million, or $0.69 per ordinary share, was offset by total after-tax net realized losses on investments in the fourth quarter of $254.8 million, which was the principal driver of the net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders of $40.3 million or $0.12 per ordinary share.

"Book value grew for the third straight quarter, as we recorded a 3% increase in book value per ordinary share to $24.60 and a 4% increase in tangible book value per ordinary share to $22.13 in the fourth quarter. Total shareholders' equity increased from $9.2 billion to $9.4 billion in the quarter.

"We are tremendously proud of the turnaround XL made in 2009. Our full year net income attributable to ordinary shareholders was $206.6 million compared to a loss of $2.6 billion in 2008. We generated an operating return on equity for the year of 13.5%. Our tangible book value per ordinary share grew by 72% in 2009. All of this was achieved in the depths of a soft market."

Mr. McGavick concluded: "No one can state with certainty when or how the underwriting cycle will turn, but we believe we have taken the steps necessary to position XL well, both in the face of current challenges and for when market conditions improve."

Three and twelve months ended December 31(US dollars in thousands except per share amounts)

 

                                       Three months ended      Twelve months ended                                   December 31            December 31                                2009       2008         2009        2008        Net (loss) income     attributable to     ordinary     shareholders                             ($40,319) ($1,433,158)   $206,607  ($2,632,458)       Per ordinary share        (diluted)              ($0.12)      ($4.33)      $0.61      ($10.94)        Operating income(1)      $235,756     $189,510    $917,255     $840,347       Per ordinary share        (diluted)               $0.69        $0.57       $2.69        $3.49

 

The Company incurred a net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders for the fourth quarter of $40.3 million, or $0.12 per ordinary share, compared to a net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders of $1,433.2 million, or $4.33 loss per ordinary share for the fourth quarter of 2008. Operating income was $235.8 million, or $0.69 per ordinary share, compared to $189.5 million, or $0.57 per ordinary share in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The significant improvement in the net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders from the prior year quarter was primarily due to a $990.0 million non-cash charge for the partial impairment of goodwill taken in the fourth quarter of 2008. Also contributing to the improvement was an increase in operating income of $46.2 million primarily due to an increase of $240.6 million in the net income from investment affiliates, partially offset by a decrease in the underwriting contribution of XL's P&C operations of $116.5 million and a decrease in investment income of $76.8 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.

Net investment income for the quarter was $316.4 million compared to $393.1 million in the prior year quarter. Net investment income on the P&C and Corporate portfolio decreased 24% from the prior year quarter to $233.1 million. This decrease was primarily due to lower investment yields, driven by both the impact of lower US LIBOR rates on floating rate structured credit assets, and higher allocations to lower yielding US Treasuries, agencies and cash as a result of continued de-risking activities.

Pre-tax net realized investment losses for the quarter were $263.6 million compared to a loss of $568.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The loss for the fourth quarter of 2009 comprises other-than-temporary impairments, net of non-credit impairments, totaling $120.8 million, and realized losses on securities sold of $142.8 million. The other-than-temporary impairments in the quarter arose primarily on below investment grade structured securities. Realized losses on securities sold resulted from sales of $1.2 billion of securities, including CMBS, prime RMBS, corporate and hybrid securities, partially offset by gains from sale of $2.2 billion of lower yielding government and corporate holdings.

The operating expenses for the quarter included charges of approximately $21.8 million related to the Company's previously announced cost reduction efforts, compared to $8.7 million for the same period in 2008. These restructuring charges totaled $81.5 million for the full year 2009, compared to $50.8 million for the full year 2008.

The annualized return on ordinary shareholders' equity, based on operating income, was 11.4% for the quarter as compared to 12.4% in the prior year quarter.

For the year, the Company produced net income of $206.6 million, or $0.61 per ordinary share, compared to a net loss of $2.6 billion, or $10.94 per ordinary share, for the prior year period. Included in the prior year was a loss of $1.4 billion related to the transaction closed on August 5, 2008 with Syncora and certain of its subsidiaries. Our underlying effective tax rate for the year was 14.5% compared to a third quarter estimate of 12%. This primarily resulted from changes in the proportion of profits generated in some of the jurisdictions in which the Company conducts business.

Operating income was $917.3 million or $2.69 per ordinary share, compared to $840.3 million or $3.49 per ordinary share in the prior year period. The full year return on ordinary shareholders' equity, based on operating income, was 13.5% compared to 12.0% in 2008.

P&C Operations

Three and twelve months ended December 31(US dollars in thousands)

 

                                       Three months ended       Twelve months ended                                   December 31              December 31                                2009         2008        2009         2008        Gross premiums written  $1,147,684   $1,182,291  $6,111,311   $7,569,391    Net premiums written       965,004      984,359   4,743,712    5,738,293    Net premiums earned      1,254,424    1,403,661   5,151,739    5,990,251        Underwriting income         45,736      162,197     327,306      303,017        Loss ratio                    62.2%        58.0%       61.5%        66.2%    Expense ratio                 34.2%        30.4%       32.1%        28.7%    Combined ratio                96.4%        88.4%       93.6%        94.9%

 

 

  • • P&C gross and net premiums written for both the three months and twelve months ended December 31, 2009 declined from the prior year primarily due to planned reductions in several targeted areas, termination of certain programs and general macroeconomic conditions impacting insured values and retention. Also impacting the decline was the Company's focus on rate discipline in a competitive environment.
  • • P&C net premiums earned included $862.8 million from the Insurance segment and $391.6 million from the Reinsurance segment for the fourth quarter 2009, and $3.6 billion and $1.6 billion for the full year, respectively.
  • • The loss ratio for the quarter was 62.2% compared to 58.0% for the fourth quarter of 2008, with full year loss ratios of 61.5% and 66.2%, respectively. Included in the current quarter loss ratio was prior year favorable development of $30.8 million compared to $268.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Included in the full year loss ratio was prior year favorable development of $284.7 million compared to $610.7 million for the full year 2008. The effect of this reduction in favorable prior year development was offset by significantly lower current year loss experience in 2009 compared to the fourth quarter and full year of 2008, particularly in the property line of business.
  • • The fourth quarter 2009 loss ratio included favorable development related to current year catastrophes (net of reinsurance recoveries and reinstatement premiums) of $5.5 million compared to the $7.8 million unfavorable development in the fourth quarter of 2008, which included development on Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Full year net losses due to catastrophes (net of reinsurance recoveries and reinstatement premiums) were $52.3 million and $376.0 million for 2009 and 2008, respectively.
  • • The expense ratio for the quarter included charges of approximately $16.8 million related to the Company's previously announced cost reduction efforts, of which $15.2 million and $1.6 million related to the Insurance and Reinsurance segments, respectively. These restructuring charges totaled $67.5 million for the full year 2009, of which $57.0 million and $10.5 million related to the Insurance and Reinsurance segments, respectively. There were restructuring charges of $4.0 million in the prior year quarter and $31.2 million in the full year 2008 impacting the expense ratio.
  • • Both the fourth quarter and full year 2009 expense ratios also included increased acquisition costs primarily as a result of higher profit-related commissions.
  • • The P&C combined ratio for the quarter was 96.4% compared to 88.4% for the fourth quarter of 2008. The full year combined ratio was 93.6% and 94.9% for 2009 and 2008, respectively. Excluding the charges for the cost reduction initiatives, the P&C combined ratios would have been 95.1% and 92.3% for the current quarter and full year, respectively, compared to 88.1% and 94.4% for the same periods in 2008, respectively.

 

Capital Position

Book value per ordinary share was $24.60 at December 31, 2009 as compared to $15.46 at December 31, 2008.

Net unrealized losses on investments, net of tax, were $1.2 billion at December 31, 2009 compared with net unrealized losses, net of tax, of $1.5 billion at September 30, 2009. The decrease in net unrealized losses for the quarter in the Company's P&C operations was substantially due to realized losses during the quarter, combined with favorable mark-to-market movements arising from tightening spreads, offset by rising interest rates. The decrease in net unrealized losses in the Company's Life operations was a result of realized losses during the quarter, offset by negative mark-to-market as a result of rising U.K. interest rates partially offset by tightening spreads. In addition, as a means of reducing U.S. GAAP book value volatility arising from the Company's run-off Life operations, the Company designated $546.1 million of Euro-denominated long-duration government securities as held-to-maturity during the quarter, which results in these securities being carried at amortized cost

At the end of the year, 56% of our $33.9 billion fixed income portfolio remained in cash, government, government-related or government-supported securities.

Further details of the results for the quarter and of the Company's fixed income investment portfolio may be found in the Company's Financial Supplement and Fixed Income Portfolio Data Supplement, respectively. These documents are both dated February 9, 2010 and are available from the Investor Relations section of the XL Capital Group website.

The Company will host a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter and full year 2009 results on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The conference call can be accessed through a listen-only dial-in number or through a live webcast. To listen to the conference call, please dial (866) 617-1526 or (210) 795-0624, passcode: 'xl global'. The webcast will be available at www.xlgroup.com and will be archived on XL's website from approximately 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 9, 2010, through midnight Eastern Time on March 9, 2010. A telephone replay of the conference call will also be available beginning at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 9, 2010, until midnight Eastern Time on March 9, 2010, by dialing (866) 426-1596 or (203) 369-0883.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about XL's beliefs, plans or expectations, are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current plans, estimates, and expectations, all of which involve risk and uncertainty. Actual results may differ materially from those included in such forward-looking statements and therefore you should not place undue reliance on them. A non-exclusive list of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements includes (a) changes in ratings, rating agency policies or practices; (b) greater frequency or severity of claims and loss activity than XL's underwriting, reserving or investment practices anticipate based on historical experience or industry data; (c) trends in rates for property and casualty insurance and reinsurance; (d) other changes in general economic conditions, including the effects of inflation and changes in interest rates, credit spreads, foreign currency exchange rates and other factors; (e) developments, including uncertainties related to the depth and duration of the current recession, and future volatility in the world's credit, financial and capital markets that adversely affect the performance and valuation of XL's investments or access to such markets; (f) the potential for changes to methodologies, estimations and assumptions that underlie the valuation of the Company's financial instruments that could result in changes to investment valuations; (g) changes to the Company's assessment as to whether it is more likely than not that the Company will be required to sell, or has the intent to sell, available-for-sale debt securities before their anticipated recovery; (h) the potential effects of domestic and foreign regulatory developments, including those which could impact the financial markets or increase XL's business costs and required capital levels; (i) the ability of XL's subsidiaries to pay dividends to the Company; (j) changes in the size of XL's claims relating to natural catastrophe losses due to the preliminary nature of some reports and estimates of loss and damage to date; (k) changes in applicable tax laws, tax treaties or tax regulations or the interpretation or enforcement thereof; (l) XL's ability to obtain approval of the Company's ordinary shareholders and the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands for, and to satisfy the other conditions to, XL's previously announced proposed redomestication to Ireland from the Cayman Islands within the expected time frame or at all; (m) XL's ability to realize the expected benefits from the redomestication; (n) the occurrence of difficulties in connection with the redomestication; (o) any unanticipated costs in connection with the redomestication; and (p) the other factors set forth in XL's reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-Q, and other documents on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. XL undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

 

                                          XL Capital Ltd                                                      SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA                                               (U.S. dollars in thousands)                                                                                                                                     Three months ended      Twelve months ended       Income statement data:         December 31              December 31                                          (Unaudited)              (Unaudited)                                       2009         2008        2009         2008                                 ----         ----        ----         ----     Revenues:                                                                     Gross premiums written:                                                         - P&C operations       $1,147,684   $1,182,291  $6,111,311   $7,569,391       - Life operations         133,469      138,558     576,162      690,915                                                                                   Net premiums written:                                                           - P&C operations          965,004      984,359   4,743,712    5,738,293       - Life operations         123,652      128,957     532,852      649,844                                                                                   Net premiums earned:                                                            - P&C operations        1,254,424    1,403,661   5,151,739    5,990,251       - Life operations         125,476      147,726     555,101      649,851                                                                                   Net investment income       316,364      393,115   1,319,823    1,768,977     Net realized (losses)                                                          gains on investments      (263,550)    (568,940)   (921,437)    (962,054)    Net realized and unrealized     (losses) gains on     derivative instruments     (24,076)     (67,720)    (33,647)     (73,368)    Net income (loss) from                                                         investment affiliates       26,386     (214,174)     78,867     (277,696)    Fee income and other         12,700       11,939      43,201       52,158                                  ------       ------      ------       ------               Total revenues $1,447,724   $1,105,607  $6,193,647   $7,148,119                              ----------   ----------  ----------   ----------     Expenses:                                                                     Net losses and loss                                                            expenses incurred         $780,688     $813,855  $3,168,837   $3,962,898     Claims and policy benefits  159,948      163,119     677,562      769,004     Acquisition costs           199,221      215,047     853,558      944,460     Operating expenses          289,093      280,380   1,055,823    1,161,934     Exchange (gains) losses     (18,941)    (120,668)     84,813     (184,454)    Extinguishment of debt            -            -           -       22,527     Interest expense             47,496       84,247     216,504      351,800     Impairment of goodwill            -      989,971           -      989,971     Amortization of intangible     assets                         442          742       1,836        2,968                                     ---          ---       -----        -----               Total expenses $1,457,947   $2,426,693  $6,058,933   $8,021,108                              ----------   ----------  ----------   ----------                                                                                   Net income (loss) before     non-controlling interest,     income tax and net income     from operating affiliates $(10,223) $(1,321,086)   $134,714    $(872,989)                                                                                  Income tax                   54,693       92,828     120,307      222,578     Net (income) loss  from                                                        operating affiliates       (30,114)       5,599     (60,480)   1,458,246                                 -------        -----     -------    ---------                                                                                   Net income (loss)          $(34,802) $(1,419,513)    $74,887  $(2,553,813)                                                                                  Non-controlling interest in     net loss of subsidiary         (57)           -        (104)           -                                     ---            -        ----            -                                                                                   Net income (loss)     attributable to      XL Capital Ltd            $(34,745) $(1,419,513)    $74,991  $(2,553,813)                                                                                  Preference share dividends   (5,574)     (13,645)    (80,200)     (78,645)    Gain on repurchase of                                                          Series C preference                                                           ordinary shares                  -            -     211,816            -                                       -            -     -------            -                                                                                   Net income (loss)                                                              attributable to                                                               ordinary shareholders     $(40,319) $(1,433,158)   $206,607  $(2,632,458)                               --------  -----------    --------  -----------                                               XL Capital Ltd                                              SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA                       (U.S. dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)                                                                                                                                          Selected balance sheet data:               As at              As at                                               December 31, 2009  December 31, 2008                                                (Unaudited)          (Note 1)                                            -----------          --------                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Total investments available for sale       $29,307,171      $27,464,510                                                                           Total fixed maturities, held to maturity       546,067                -                                                                           Cash and cash equivalents                    3,643,697        4,353,826                                                                           Investments in affiliates                    1,185,604        1,552,789                                                                           Unpaid losses and loss expenses recoverable  3,584,028        3,997,722                                                                           Total assets                                45,579,675       45,648,814                                                                                                                                                  Unpaid losses and loss expenses             20,823,524       21,650,315                                                                           Deposit liabilities                          2,208,699        2,710,987                                                                           Future policy benefit reserves               5,490,119        5,452,865                                                                           Unearned premiums                            3,651,310        4,217,931                                                                           Notes payable and debt                       2,451,417        3,189,734                                                                           Redeemable series C preference ordinary     shares                                        182,673          500,000                                                                           Total shareholders' equity                   9,432,417        6,116,831                                                                           Diluted book value per ordinary share           $24.60           $15.46                                                                           Basic book value per ordinary share             $24.64           $15.46                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Note 1: Certain items have been reclassified to conform with the                    current period presentation                                                 XL Capital Ltd                                     RECONCILIATION            The following is a reconciliation of the Company’s (i) net income     (loss) attributable to ordinary shareholders to operating income (loss)     (Note 1) and (ii) annualized return on ordinary shareholders’ equity     (based on operating income (loss)) to average ordinary shareholders’     equity for the three months ended December 31, 2009 and 2008.                    (U.S. dollars in thousands except per share amounts)                                                           Three months ended                                                               December 31                                                                  (Unaudited)                                                               2009         2008                                                         ----         ----                                                                    (Note 3)                                                                                   Net (loss) income attributable to ordinary                                    shareholders                                      $(40,319) $(1,433,158)                                                                                 Net realized losses on investments, net of tax      254,768      565,864                                                                                  Impairment of goodwill                                    -      989,971                                                                                  Net realized and unrealized losses (gains) on                                 investment derivatives, net of tax                  16,150       68,574                                                                                  Net realized and unrealized losses (gains) on credit     and structured financial derivatives, net of tax     6,390          (43)                                                                                 Net realized and unrealized (gains) losses on                                 investments and derivatives of the Company's                                 insurance company affiliates                        (1,233)      (1,698)                                                                                                                                                                                                                 --------     --------     Operating income (Note 1)                          $235,756     $189,510                                                        ========     ========                                                                                  Per ordinary share results: (Note 2)                                                                                                                      Net (loss) income attributable to ordinary                                    shareholders                                        $(0.12)      $(4.33)                                                                                 Operating income (Note 1)                             $0.69        $0.57                                                                                  Weighted average ordinary shares outstanding:                                                                                                             Basic                                           342,123,122  330,810,110     Diluted                                         342,689,503  330,810,110                                                                                  Return on ordinary shareholders' equity:                                                                                                                  Average ordinary shareholders' equity            $8,300,634   $6,137,888                                                                                  Operating income (Note 1)                          $235,756     $189,510                                                                                  Annualized operating income (Note 1)               $943,024     $758,040                                                                                  Annualized return on ordinary shareholders'                                   equity - operating income (Note 1)                    11.4%        12.4%                                                           ====         ====                                                                                  Note 1: Operating income is defined as net income (loss) attributable to            ordinary shareholders excluding net realized gains and losses on            investments, goodwill impairment charges, net realized and            unrealized gains and losses on credit, structured financial and            investment derivatives, net of tax for the Company and its share            of these items for the Company's insurance com