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Endurance Specialty Q1 net income down

Endurance Specialty, a provider of personal and commercial property, and casualty insurance and reinsurance on a global basis, has reported that its net income for the first quarter of 2008 was $77.8 million and $1.15 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $101.8 million and $1.36 per diluted common share in the first quarter of 2007.

The company has reported gross premiums written of $868.6 million, an increase of 51.5% over the same period in 2007, and ceded premiums of $227.8 million versus $39.6 million in the first quarter of 2007.

Endurance Specialty’s net investment income for the first quarter of 2008 was $46.9 million, a decrease of $27.9 million or 37.3% over the first quarter of 2007. The operating income, which excludes after-tax realized investment gains and losses and foreign exchange gains and losses, was $89.5 million and $1.33 per diluted common share. The operating return on average common equity for the quarter was 3.7%, or 14.7% on an annualized basis.

Kenneth LeStrange, chairman and CEO of Endurance Specialty, said: Endurance reported another quarter of solid operating results and book value growth in a quarter marked by significant capital market volatility and increased industry losses for global property risks. Our premiums were up significantly in the quarter, largely from our recently acquired agriculture insurance unit.