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EMC Insurance Q4 earnings down

Premiums earned decreased 0.9% for the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the same quarter of 2007

EMC Insurance has reported that its net income, including realised investment gains/losses, was $474,000, or $0.04 per share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008, compared to $7.06 million, or $0.51 per share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2007.

Premiums earned decreased 0.9% to $101.31 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 from $102.24 million for the same quarter in 2007.

Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2008 was $1.7 million, or $0.13 per share, compared to a net income of $42.48 million, or $3.09 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2007. For the year 2008, premiums earned decreased 1% to $389.32 million from $393.06 million for the year 2007.

Bruce Kelley, president and CEO, said: Operating income for 2008 was negatively impacted by a record amount of catastrophe and storm losses. This record amount of catastrophe and storm losses added 13% to our 2008 combined ratio, compared to an average over the last decade of 5.4%. Excluding the excess catastrophe and storm losses experienced during 2008, the company came very close to meeting its combined ratio target for the year.