May 3, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 2:18 pm

Allied World's 1Q net zooms on record premiums

Swiss insurer Allied World Assurance Holdings, with Farmington operations, posted a 15-fold jump in first-quarter profits, the beneficiary of the current cycle in which underwriters hold the upper hand on property-casualty premiums.

For three months ended March 31, Allied World said Thursday it netted $218.2 million, or $5.70 a fully diluted share, up from $8.6 million, or 21 cents a share, netted the same quarter last year. Operating income more than doubled to $91.5 million.

Allied World noted, however, its first-quarter results counted only $1.1 million of the estimated more than $80 million in expenses tied to its impending merger with =. Its second-quarter results will carry the balances of those merger costs, the insurer said.

President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Carmilani said the Zug, Switzerland, insurer booked first-quarter gross premiums that topped $680 million for the first time - up 21 percent from a year earlier.

Carmilani said returns on the company's securities portfolio also contributed smartly to first-quarter profitability.

Allied's loss and loss expense ratio for the first quarter- which reflects damage claims caused by manmade and natural disasters - fell to 65.8 percent this year compared to 104.1 percent for the first quarter of 2011.

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