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Fairfax Financial Reports Increase In Q3 Net Earnings

Posted a net earnings of $562.4m in the third quarter of 2009

Fairfax Financial Holdings has reported an increased net earnings of $562.4m in the third quarter of 2009 ($31.04 per share and $30.88 per diluted share) compared to net earnings of $467.6m in the third quarter of 2008 ($25.40 per share and $25.27 per diluted share).

The year-over-year increase in quarterly net earnings derived primarily from improved underwriting profit at the company’s insurance and reinsurance operations.

The operating income of the company’s insurance and reinsurance operations (excluding net gains on investments) in the third quarter of 2009 increased to $133.0m from an operating loss of $64.9m in the third quarter of 2008.

The underwriting profit earned by the company’s insurance and reinsurance operations in the third quarter of 2009 improved to $1.6m from an underwriting loss of $170.3m in the third quarter of 2008 primarily related to US hurricane losses.

The net premiums written in the third quarter of 2009 decreased 6.0% to $1,064.3m from $1,132.1m in the third quarter of 2008.

In the first nine months of 2009, the net earnings were $777.4m ($43.66 per share and $43.42 per diluted share) compared to $1,127.0m in the first nine months of 2008 ($60.63 per share and $59.89 per diluted share).