Exhibit 99.1

ex991image09302018a13.gif

 
Erie Indemnity Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results
Net Income per Diluted Share up 37.4 percent for the Quarter and 37.0 percent Year to Date
 
Erie, Pa. - October 25, 2018 - Erie Indemnity Company (NASDAQ: ERIE) today announced financial results for the quarter ending September 30, 2018. Net income was $80.4 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2018, compared to $58.5 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2017. Net income was $225.9 million, or $4.32 per diluted share, in the first nine months of 2018, compared to $164.9 million, or $3.15 per diluted share, in the first nine months of 2017.
3Q and Nine Months 2018
(dollars in thousands)
3Q'18
3Q'17
 
2018
2017
 
Operating income
$
96,695

$
81,239

 
$
269,585

$
231,627

 
Investment income
8,431

8,418

 
20,801

21,458

 
Interest expense and other, net
655

792

 
1,708

2,031

 
Income before income taxes
104,471

88,865

 
288,678

251,054

 
Income tax expense
24,025

30,322

 
62,768

86,108

 
Net income
$
80,446

$
58,543

 
$
225,910

$
164,946

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


3Q 2018 Highlights
Operating income before taxes increased $15.5 million, or 19.0 percent, in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter of 2017, as the growth in total operating revenue outpaced the growth in total operating expenses.
Management fee revenue - policy issuance and renewal services increased $16.1 million, or 3.7 percent, in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter of 2017.
Management fee revenue allocated to administrative services was $13.5 million in the third quarter of 2018. No management fee revenue was allocated to administrative services in the third quarter of 2017.
Cost of operations - policy issuance and renewal services
Commissions increased $8.1 million in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter of 2017, as a result of the 7.1 percent increase in direct and assumed premiums written by the Exchange, slightly offset by lower agent incentive costs related to less profitable growth, compared to the third quarter of 2017.
Non-commission expense increased $5.9 million in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Information technology costs increased $4.0 million primarily due to higher professional fees. Administrative and other expenses increased $2.4 million primarily due to higher professional fees and personnel costs. Personnel costs in all expense categories were impacted by lower estimated costs for incentive plan awards related to underwriting performance.

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The administrative services reimbursement revenue and corresponding cost of operations increased both total operating revenue and total operating expenses by $140.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, but had no net impact on operating income.

Income from investments before taxes totaled $8.4 million in both the third quarters of 2018 and 2017. Net investment income was $7.7 million in the third quarter of 2018 compared to $6.0 million in the third quarter of 2017, while earnings on limited partnerships were $0.8 million in the third quarter of 2018 compared to $1.5 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Income before income taxes increased $15.6 million in the third quarter of 2018, while income tax expense decreased $6.3 million in the third quarter of 2018, due to the lower income tax rate of 21% which became effective January 1, 2018.

Nine Months 2018 Highlights
Operating income before taxes increased $38.0 million, or 16.4 percent, in the first nine months of 2018 compared to the first nine months of 2017, as the growth in total operating revenue outpaced the growth in total operating expenses.
Management fee revenue - policy issuance and renewal services increased $43.3 million, or 3.4 percent, in the first nine months of 2018 compared to the first nine months of 2017.
Management fee revenue allocated to administrative services was $39.9 million in the first nine months of 2018. No management fee revenue was allocated to administrative services in the first nine months of 2017.
Cost of operations - policy issuance and renewal services
Commissions increased $31.9 million in the first nine months of 2018 compared to the first nine months of 2017, as a result of the 6.9 percent increase in direct and assumed premiums written by the Exchange, slightly offset by lower agent incentive costs related to less profitable growth, compared to the first nine months of 2017.
Non-commission expense increased $12.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Underwriting and policy processing costs increased $5.3 million primarily due to increased personnel costs and underwriting report costs. Information technology costs increased $2.7 million primarily due to increased personnel costs. Customer service costs increased $3.4 million primarily due to increased personnel costs and credit card processing fees. Personnel costs in all expense categories were higher due to additional bonuses of approximately $4.8 million awarded to all employees as a result of tax savings realized from the lower corporate income tax rate that became effective January 1, 2018 as well as increased pension and medical costs. The total increase in personnel costs was somewhat offset by lower estimated costs for incentive plan awards related to underwriting performance.
The administrative services reimbursement revenue and corresponding cost of operations increased both total operating revenue and total operating expenses by $432.6 million in the first nine months of 2018, but had no net impact on operating income.

Income from investments before taxes totaled $20.8 million in the first nine months of 2018 compared to $21.5 million in the first nine months of 2017. Net realized losses on investments were $0.5 million in the first nine months of 2018

2



compared to net realized gains of $1.5 million in the first nine months of 2017 and earnings on limited partnerships were $0.4 million in the first nine months of 2018 compared to $1.9 million in the first nine months of 2017, while net investment income was $21.6 million in the first nine months of 2018 compared to $18.2 million in the first nine months of 2017.

Income before income taxes increased $37.6 million in the first nine months of 2018, while income tax expense decreased $23.3 million in the first nine months of 2018, due to the lower income tax rate of 21% which became effective January 1, 2018.

Webcast Information
Indemnity has scheduled a pre-recorded audio broadcast on the Web for 10:00 AM ET on October 26, 2018.  Investors may access the pre-recorded audio broadcast by logging on to www.erieinsurance.com.

Erie Insurance Group
According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 9th largest homeowners insurer and 11th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written and the 16th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written.  The Group, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, has more than 5 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Erie Insurance Group is a FORTUNE 500 company.

News releases and more information about Erie Insurance Group are available at www.erieinsurance.com.
 
***
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:
Statements contained herein that are not historical fact are forward-looking statements and, as such, are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ, perhaps materially, from those discussed herein.  Forward-looking statements relate to future trends, events or results and include, without limitation, statements and assumptions on which such statements are based that are related to our plans, strategies, objectives, expectations, intentions, and adequacy of resources.  Examples of forward-looking statements are discussions relating to premium and investment income, expenses, operating results, and compliance with contractual and regulatory requirements.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict.  Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements.  Among the risks and uncertainties, in addition to those set forth in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that could cause actual results and future events to differ from those set forth or contemplated in the forward-looking statements include the following:

dependence upon our relationship with the Exchange and the management fee under the agreement with the subscribers at the Exchange;
dependence upon our relationship with the Exchange and the growth of the Exchange, including:
general business and economic conditions;
factors affecting insurance industry competition;
dependence upon the independent agency system; and
ability to maintain our reputation for customer service;
dependence upon our relationship with the Exchange and the financial condition of the Exchange, including:
the Exchange's ability to maintain acceptable financial strength ratings;
factors affecting the quality and liquidity of the Exchange's investment portfolio;
changes in government regulation of the insurance industry;
emerging claims and coverage issues in the industry; and
severe weather conditions or other catastrophic losses, including terrorism;
costs of providing policy issuance and renewal services to the Exchange under the subscriber's agreement;
credit risk from the Exchange;
ability to attract and retain talented management and employees;
ability to ensure system availability and effectively manage technology initiatives;
difficulties with technology or data security breaches, including cyber attacks;

3



ability to maintain uninterrupted business operations;
factors affecting the quality and liquidity of our investment portfolio;
our ability to meet liquidity needs and access capital; and
outcome of pending and potential litigation.

A forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and reflects our analysis only as of that date.  We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions, or otherwise.

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