CONTACT: Todd Pozefsky
WHITE MOUNTAINS REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
HAMILTON, Bermuda (May 2, 2018) - White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM) reported book value per share of $916 and adjusted book value per share of $903 as of March 31, 2018. Book value per share and adjusted book value per share decreased 2% and 1% for the quarter, including dividends. Comprehensive loss attributable to common shareholders was $48 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared to comprehensive income attributable to common shareholders of $29 million in the first quarter of 2017.
Manning Rountree, CEO, commented, “ABVPS was down 1% in the quarter. The main event was a -1.0% total return in our investment portfolio, as both fixed income and equity markets sold off in the quarter. As expected, new municipal bond issuance was light in the quarter, and BAM’s volume dipped as a result, although BAM’s pricing and market share remained at healthy levels. MediaAlpha had an outstanding quarter, with strong topline growth and record adjusted EBITDA. In April, we announced our agreement to acquire NSM, a leading specialty insurance program administrator. We expect to close the acquisition in the second quarter. Our modified Dutch tender offer for up to 500,000 White Mountains common shares will expire on May 7.”
BAM insured municipal bonds with par value of $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018, compared to $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2017. Gross written premiums and member surplus contributions totaled $11 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared to $28 million in the first quarter of 2017. Total pricing, which is premiums plus member surplus contributions weighted by the par value of bonds insured, was 96 basis points in in the first quarter of 2018, compared to 119 basis points in the first quarter of 2017. BAM’s total claims paying resources were $709 million at March 31, 2018, compared to $708 million at December 31, 2017 and $662 million at March 31, 2017.
Seán McCarthy, CEO of BAM, said, “The first quarter saw a market-wide drop in new-issue municipal volume, as the uncertainty over tax reform caused many issuers to pull forward planned 2018 issuance volume into 2017. Despite the drop in supply, BAM maintained its market position and continued to generate organic growth in claims paying resources. Primary market pricing improved in the quarter. In April, we expanded our claims-paying resources by $100 million through a collateralized reinsurance agreement with Fidus Re Ltd., a special-purpose insurer created to provide collateralized reinsurance protection to BAM. This creative transaction demonstrates the quality of BAM's insured portfolio and the strength of BAM's position in the marketplace.”
HG Global reported pre-tax income of $5 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared to pre-tax income of $7 million in the first quarter of 2017. White Mountains reported pre-tax loss related to BAM of $19 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared to pre-tax loss of $12 million in the first quarter of 2017. The period over period changes were driven primarily by lower returns in the HG Global/BAM investment portfolios.
BAM is a mutual insurance company that is owned by its members. BAM’s results are consolidated into White Mountains’s GAAP financial statements and attributed to non-controlling interests.
The following information was filed by White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd (WTM) on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 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-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.