American Safety Insurance Holdings, Ltd.
Reports Net Earnings of $6.9 Million for the Fourth Quarter and
$24.3 Million for the Year Ended December 31, 2009

Book Value Per Share Increased 24.7% Year Over Year


HAMILTON, Bermuda, March 3, 2010
– American Safety Insurance Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:ASI) today reported net earnings of $6.9 million for the 2009 fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of $8.2 million for the same period in 2008.  Net earnings for the twelve months ended 2009 were $24.3 million, or $2.30 per diluted share, compared to $0.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the same period of 2008.

Financial Highlights for the quarter and year included:

§  
Book value increased to $26.33 per outstanding share and $25.47 per diluted share, compared to $21.12 per outstanding share and $20.55 per diluted share, at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.
§  
Return on average equity (adjusted for realized and unrealized gains and losses from investments) for 2009 increased to 10.8% from 6.6% in 2008.
§  
Total revenue quarter over quarter and year over year increased more than 6%.
§  
Gross premiums written decreased 9.6% for the quarter and 2.6% for the year.
§  
Net premiums written increased 1.0% for the quarter and decreased 8.4% for the year.
§  
Net investment income increased 3.4% for the quarter and 3.3% for the year.
§  
Cash flow from operations totaled $13.2 million for the quarter and $53.4 million for the year, compared to $30.8 million and $101.0 million, respectively, for the same periods in 2008.
§  
The combined ratio improved to 99.2% for the quarter and 99.4% for the year compared to 115.4% and 106.0%, respectively, for the same periods in 2008.

Fourth Quarter Results

Pre-tax operating income increased to $9.0 million for the 2009 quarter as compared to $0.9 million for the same quarter in 2008 due to improved underwriting results.  The combined ratio for the 2009 quarter was 99.2% with improvements in both the loss ratio and expense ratio.  The loss ratio for the three months ended December 31, 2009 was 55.2% compared to 70.1% for the same period in 2008 while the expense ratio was 44.0% compared to 45.3% in 2008.

Total revenue for the quarter increased 7% to $51.9 million as fee income increased $1.5 million, investment income increased modestly and net realized losses on investments were $0.1 million in the 2009 quarter as compared to $6.0 million in 2008.

Net earnings for the quarter of $6.9 million, or $.65 per diluted share compare to a net loss of $8.2 million or $.80 per diluted share for the 2008 quarter.  The 2009 results include $1.2 million net favorable adjustments to loss reserves comprised of: $5.2 million of favorable development on prior year loss reserves, which was offset, in part, by a $4.0 million increase in 2009 accident year losses primarily to reflect changes in estimated ceded losses recoverable.  Additionally during the fourth quarter the tax provision includes a $0.9 million benefit representing a partial reversal of the valuation allowance established in 2008 relative to deferred taxes associated with the investment portfolio.

 
 

The following information was filed by American Safety Insurance Holdings Ltd (ASI) on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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