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Universal Insurance Q4 earnings down

The decline is attributed to state mandated rate decreases and wind mitigation credits

Universal Insurance Holdings has reported a net income of $7.2m, or $0.18 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008, compared to $10.3m, or $0.24 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2007.

For the fourth quarter of 2008, gross premiums written were $117.1m, as compared to $117.4m for the same period of 2007. Net premiums earned increased 7.4% to $38.1m in the fourth quarter of 2008 from $35.5m in the fourth quarter of 2007.

For the year ended December 31, 2008, net income was $40m, or $0.99 per diluted share, compared to $54m, or $1.31 per diluted share, in the year ended December 31, 2007.

Gross premiums written increased 2.5% to $511.4m for the year 2008 from $498.7m for the year 2007. For the year 2008, net premiums earned decreased 4.5% to $147.4m from $154.4m for 2007.

Bradley Meier, president and CEO of Universal Insurance, said: Although our earnings declined in 2008 as compared to 2007 as a result of state mandated rate decreases and wind mitigation credits across the company’s wholly owned regulated insurance subsidiary UPCIC’s book of business, Universal Insurance Holdings grew its book value per share by 34% during 2008.