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HALLMARK BEATS AS IT SWINGS TO BLACK ON INVESTMENT GAINS
US specialty property/casualty insurer Hallmark Financial Services swung to first-quarter net income of $9.3m from a loss of $64.3m, reflecting a positive $35.1m swing in realised and unrealised investment gains and the absence of $46m in goodwill impairment charges it posted a year earlier. Operating income per share edged up to 27¢ from 25¢ and beat analysts’ forecast of a 7¢ loss. The Texas-based group’s combined ratio improved by 1.5 points to 96.1%, driven by a $22.5m decrease in incurred losses and a $10.7m improvement in prior-year reserve development. Gross written premiums for the period fell 19% in the wake of the company’s move in 2020 to exit the binding primary commercial motor business. With the decline in premiums, catastrophes’ share of the combined ratio rose to 5.7 points from 4.9 points even though actual cat losses edged down to $5.9m from $6.0m.
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