Fairfax Holdings swings to profit on higher underwriting revenue

Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:20pm EDT
 
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July 28 (Reuters) - Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, led by well-known contrarian investor Prem Watsa, swung to a quarterly profit, helped partly by an increase in underwriting revenue.

The Toronto-based financial services holding company said on Thursday net premiums written rose nearly 22 percent to $2.14 billion in the second quarter.

Net earnings attributable to Fairfax was $238.7 million, or $9.58 per share, compared with a loss of $185.7 million, or $8.87 per share, a year earlier.

The company also posted a loss in the first quarter.

Fairfax maintained its defensive equity hedges on concerns about the global economic outlook. Its equity hedges accounted for 115.3 percent of its equity holdings at June 30.

Net investment gains were $229.2 million in the quarter compared with losses of $661.2 million a year earlier.

Up to Thursday's close of C$712.38, shares of the company had risen nearly 8 percent in the past 12 months. (Reporting by Manish Parashar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)