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MARKEL CORPORATION ANNOUNCES FINANCIAL RESULTS

 MARKEL CORPORATION ANNOUNCES FINANCIAL RESULTS
 RICHMOND, Va., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Markel Corporation


(NASDAQ: MAKL) announced today financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 1992. Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman, cited improved underwriting results, further reductions in long-term debt and a substantial increase in book value per share as significant achievements in the quarter.
 For the quarter ended March 31, 1992, net income was $12.8 million, or $2.32 per primary share, up 147 percent from $5.2 million, or $.97 per primary share in 1991. The first quarter 1992 net income included a $13.8 million, or $2.50 per share, net gain from the sale of the Company's Governmental Programs Division to a subsidiary of Aon Corporation. The 1992 results also included a $3.3 million, or $.60 per share, after-tax provision for the relocation of the Company's Markel/Rhulen Underwriters Division (MRU) from Monticello, New York to Richmond, Virginia. Included in 1991 was $1.5 million, or $.28 per share, from the sale of the nurses' professional liability program.
 The first quarter 1992 operating revenues were $47.9 million, compared to $54.4 million for the same period in 1991. This decline was due to reduced brokerage commissions as a result of the sale of the Governmental Programs Division and lower investment results.
 Operating income was $2.0 million for the quarter, compared to $10.4 million in the first quarter of 1991. The decrease resulted principally from increased operating expenses due to a non-recurring charge of $5.0 million to provide for the estimated expenses of relocating MRU operations and employees as well as the aforementioned decrease in revenues.
 Core operating earnings compared favorably to last year as the Company's underwriting operations reported a 98 percent combined ratio in the first quarter of 1992, compared to 102 percent in 1991. This improvement effectively offsets the decrease in operating income resulting from the sale of the governmental business.
 Interest expense was $1.6 million for the quarter compared to $3.6 million in the first quarter of 1991. Interest expense decreased due to lower average outstanding debt as well as lower interest rates.
 Long-term debt decreased to $68.6 million at March 31, 1992, from $94.0 million at Dec. 31, 1991. Proceeds from the sale of the Governmental Programs Division were used primarily to reduce debt. Book value per common share increased to $18.45 at March 31, 1992, from $15.59 at Dec. 31, 1991. The increase resulted from net income and improvements in the market values of equity securities.
 Markel Corporation markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of niche markets. In each of these markets, the Company seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.
 MARKEL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 Unaudited
 Quarter Ended
 March 31,
 1992 1991
 (dollars in thousands,
 except per share data)
 Operating revenues:
 Earned premiums $ 36,337 $ 36,309
 Commissions 4,257 7,069
 Net investment income 7,039 8,187
 Net realized gains (losses) from
 sales of investments (17) 1,989
 Other 254 807
 Total operating revenues 47,870 54,361
 Operating expenses:
 Losses and loss adjustment expenses 22,134 21,323
 Policy acquisition costs 8,553 10,171
 General, administrative and other 10,170 12,466
 Relocation costs 5,000 --
 Total operating expenses 45,857 43,960
 Operating income 2,013 10,401
 Other income (expenses):
 Gain on sale of brokerage programs 23,271 2,400
 Amortization of intangible assets (1,863) (2,147)
 Interest (1,574) (3,634)
 Total other income (expenses) 19,834 (3,381)
 Income before income taxes 21,847 7,020
 Income taxes 9,023 1,825
 Net income $ 12,824 $ 5,195
 Earnings per share:
 Primary $2.32 $0.97
 Fully diluted $2.27 $0.95
 -0- 5/13/92
 /CONTACT: Darrell D. Martin, Markel Corporation, 804-965-1635/
 (MAKL) CO: Markel Corporation ST: Virginia IN: INS SU: ERN


JZ -- CH001 -- 9465 05/13/92 08:04 EDT
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Date:May 13, 1992
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