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American Financial Reports Q2 Results, Half Yearly Net Operating Earnings

Improved underwriting results in specialty property and casualty insurance and higher investment income were offset by lower results in annuity and supplemental insurance

American Financial Group, a US-based insurance holding company providing property and casualty insurance, has reported net earnings attributable to shareholders of $127 million ($1.09 per share) for the 2009 second quarter, compared to $60 million ($.52 per share) reported in the 2008 second quarter.

The 2009 results suggest realised gains on investments, compared to realised losses in the prior period. Net earnings for the first six months of 2009 were $231 million ($1.98 per share), as compared to $136 million ($1.16 per share) for the same period a year ago.

Second quarter core net operating earnings of $117 million ($1.01 per share) were up 5%, from the comparable period a year earlier. Improved underwriting results in the specialty property and casualty insurance (P&C) operations and higher investment income were offset somewhat by lower results in the annuity and supplemental insurance group.

The P&C specialty insurance operations generated an underwriting profit of $112 million in the second quarter, 49% higher than the prior year period. The Specialty Casualty group’s combined ratios for the second quarter and first half of 2009 were 81% and 79%, respectively.