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MARKEL CORPORATION ANNOUNCES INCREASED EARNINGS

 MARKEL CORPORATION ANNOUNCES INCREASED EARNINGS
 RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Markel Corporation


(NASDAQ-NMS: MAKL) announced increased earnings for the quarter and six month period ended June 30, 1992.
 Net income for the quarter was $4.9 million, or $.90 per share, representing a 39 percent increase over the $3.5 million, or $.66 per share, reported in 1991. The Company's underwriting operations reported a 98 percent combined ratio for the second quarter compared to 105 percent for the second quarter 1991. The improvement was primarily the result of lower loss experience from the elimination of a specialty motorcycle program and expense reductions throughout the organization. A reduction in net investment income, caused by lower interest rates, was offset by higher realized gains and substantially lower interest costs due to reduced borrowings and lower interest rates compared to the second quarter 1991.
 Net income for six months increased 103 percent to $17.7 million, or $3.22 per primary share, from $8.7 million, or $1.63 per primary share, in 1991. In addition to the underwriting, investment and interest expense trends noted above for the second quarter, net income for the six months includes a $13.8 million, or $2.50 per primary share, net gain from the sale of the Company's Governmental Programs Division in the first quarter of 1992. The impact of the gain, however, was reduced by a $3.3 million, or $.60 per primary share, after-tax provision recorded in the first quarter for the relocation of the Company's Markel/Rhulen Underwriters Division from Monticello, New York to corporate headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. Included in 1991 year-to-date net income was $1.5 million, or $.28 per primary share from the sale of the nurses' professional liability program.
 Long-term debt decreased to $68.6 million at June 30, 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 $18.51 at June 30, 1992 from $18.45 at March 31, 1992 and $15.59 at Dec. 31, 1991, primarily due to net income. The impact of the increase from net income in the second quarter was partially offset by decreases in unrealized gains in the Company's equity portfolios.
 Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said the strong performance underscored the Company's commitment to its objective of achieving consistent underwriting profits. "Given the soft insurance market, much of our improvement in underwriting results has been in the area of expense control. The benefits and synergies anticipated from being under common leadership are only beginning to be realized as we share talent and expertise among our various business units."
 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 Six Months Ended
 June 30, June 30,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 Operating revenues:
 Earned premiums $35,195 $40,653 $71,532 $76,962
 Commissions 4,165 7,071 8,422 14,140
 Net investment income 6,731 8,285 13,770 16,472
 Net realized gains
 (losses) from sales of
 investments 3,132 2,222 3,115 4,211
 Other 210 1,509 464 2,316
 Total operating revenues 49,433 59,740 97,303 114,101
 Operating expenses:
 Losses and loss adjustment
 expenses 23,225 28,811 45,359 50,134
 Policy acquisition costs 8,112 7,891 16,665 18,062
 General, administrative
 and other 7,936 12,867 18,106 25,333
 Relocation costs -- -- 5,000 --
 Total operating expenses 39,273 49,569 85,130 93,529
 Operating income 10,160 10,171 12,173 20,572
 Other income (expenses):
 Gain on sale of
 brokerage programs -- -- 23,271 2,400
 Amortization of intangible
 assets (1,827) (2,323) (3,690) (4,470)
 Interest (1,316) (3,073) (2,890) (6,707)
 Total other income
 (expenses) (3,143) (5,396) 16,691 (8,777)
 Income before income taxes 7,017 4,775 28,864 11,795
 Income taxes 2,097 1,241 11,120 3,066
 Net income $4,920 $3,534 $17,744 $8,729
 Earnings per share:
 Primary $0.90 $0.66 $3.22 $1.63
 Fully diluted $0.88 $0.64 $3.15 $1.59
 -0- 8/11/92
 /CONTACT: Darrell D. Martin, Markel Corporation, 804-965-1635/
 (MAKL) CO: Markel Corporation ST: Virginia IN: INS SU: ERN


JZ-CM -- CH003 -- 8878 08/11/92 10:23 EDT
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