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Lower COVID-19 losses helps to boost Fairfax Financial's second-quarter profits

·1 min read

TORONTO — Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. says its net profit nearly tripled in its latest quarter partly due to lower COVID-19 losses.

The Toronto-based insurance company, which reports in U.S. dollars, says it earned US$1.2 billion or US$43.25 per diluted share after payment of preferred share dividends in the second quarter.

That compared with US$434.9 million or US$15.26 per share a year earlier.

Insurance operating income increased to US$398.3 million from US$120.5 million, reflecting higher underwriting profit, primarily due to increased business volumes and COVID losses plunging 77.8 per cent to US$68.7 million from US$308.1 million in the second quarter of 2020, when the pandemic first struck.

The gains were partially offset by higher catastrophe losses primarily due to the U.S. winter storms.

Gross premiums increased by 27.1 per cent to US$6 billion from US$4.7 billion while net premiums written were US$4.5 billion, up 27.4 per cent from US$3.56 billion in the second quarter of 2020.

Fairfax was expected to earn US$9.65 per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:FFH)

The Canadian Press

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