Greenwich, CT – W. R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE: WRB) recently reported its fourth quarter and full year 2022 results.
Fourth quarter highlights included:
- Return on equity of 23.0%.
- Book value per share grew 8.1%, before dividends and share repurchases.
- Net investment income grew 40.2% to a record $231.3 million.
- Record quarterly pre-tax underwriting income of $291.9 million.
- The current accident year combined ratio before catastrophe losses of 1.2 loss ratio points was 87.2%.
- The reported combined ratio was 88.4%, including catastrophe losses of $30.8 million.
- Average rate increases excluding workers’ compensation were approximately 6.9%.
Full year highlights included:
- Return on equity of 20.8%.
- Book value per share grew 6.1%, before dividends and share repurchases.
- Record annual pre-tax underwriting income and net income of $1.0 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.
- Gross and net premiums written grew 11.3% and 12.9% to records $11.9 billion and $10.0 billion, respectively.
- Average rate increases excluding workers’ compensation were approximately 7.5%.
- Net investment income grew 16.0% to a record $779.2 million.
- Operating cash flow increased 17.6% to a record of approximately $2.6 billion.
- Total capital returned to shareholders was $329.3 million, consisting of $132.6 million of special dividends, $102.6 million of regular dividends and $94.1 million of share repurchases.
The Company commented:
Our exceptional 23.0% annualized return on beginning equity in the fourth quarter of 2022 capped a record-setting year, characterized by continued growth, strong underwriting performance and increasing net investment income.
Net premiums written advanced nearly 7% in the fourth quarter, with further growth in areas of business that are achieving or exceeding our targeted risk-adjusted return on equity. We continue to thoughtfully position our book of business to navigate the uncertainties of the current inflationary environment and carefully evaluate the opportunities available to profitably deploy capital as we continue to expand our business.
Net investment income grew by 40% during the quarter and core net investment income grew by 75%. The short duration and high quality of our fixed-maturity portfolio, combined with record annual cash flow, allowed us to invest more funds at higher interest rates and increase book value per share for the full year by 6.1%, before dividends and share repurchases.
During 2022, our Company performed exceptionally well. Our results demonstrated how our core knowledge in underwriting and investing, combined with our focus on risk-adjusted return, allowed us to better navigate risks and embrace opportunities to deliver superior results for our shareholders. We remain encouraged about the opportunities that we see in 2023 and beyond.
The complete results release is available here: WR Berkley Corporation Q4 and Full Year 2022 Results
Source: WR Berkley