Date: 09/08/2012
By: Susy Chandler

Markel reports second quarter and half-year

London, August 9, 2012 --- Markel Corporation (NYSE – MKL) reported diluted net income per share of $8.42 for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 compared to $3.11 for the second quarter of 2011. Diluted net income per share was $14.35 for the six months ended June 30, 2012 compared to $3.95 for the same period of 2011. The results for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2012 reflect more favorable underwriting results compared to the same periods of 2011. The combined ratio was 87% for the second quarter of 2012 compared to 103% for the second quarter of 2011. The combined ratio was 93% for the six months ended June 30, 2012 compared to 107% for the same period of 2011. The combined ratio for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2012 included $14 million, or three points, and $35 million, or three points, respectively, of underwriting, acquisition and insurance expenses related to the Company’s prospective adoption of Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standard Update No. 2010-26, Accounting for Costs Associated with Acquiring or Renewing Insurance Contracts. The combined ratio for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011 included $30 million, or six points, and $99 million, or 10 points, respectively, of underwriting loss related to natural catastrophes. Book value per common share outstanding increased 8% to $379.88 at June 30, 2012 from $352.10 at December 31, 2011.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased with our 2012 results, which reflect favourable results from our insurance operations and our longterm focus on underwriting discipline. During the first half of the year we completed acquisitions in our insurance and non-insurance operations and we believe these acquisitions will increase the intrinsic value of our business for our shareholders. Premium volume was up 8% for the quarter, due in part to the first quarter acquisition of THOMCO.”

Markel International reported gross written premiums of $514 million for the six months ended June 30, 2012 compared to $483 million for the first half of 2011. The increase of 7% was primarily due to an increase in premiums at the Marine and Energy and Specialty divisions which have benefited from an improved pricing environment and organic growth. The combined ratio for Markel International was 84% for the six months ended June 30, 2012 compared to 130% for the same period of 2011. The 2012 combined ratio excludes $10 million, or 3 points of underwriting, acquisition and insurance expenses related to the Company’s prospective adoption of Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standard Update No. 2010-26, Accounting for Costs Associated with Acquiring or Renewing Insurance Contracts. The improvement in the combined ratio was a consequence of a lower current accident year attritional loss ratio, an increase in favourable development on prior year loss reserves and a benign catastrophe environment compared to the first half of 2011.

Andy Davies, Finance Director at Markel International, commented, “We have experienced an excellent first half of 2012 with strong premium growth, a return to underwriting profitability and excellent investment returns. During the first six months we continued to expand our operations in the UK and internationally through the acquisition of Quay Underwriting in the UK, a joint venture with Anglo Underwriting in Germany and the establishment of a Marine underwriting unit at our Canadian operation, Elliott Special Risks. Markel International produced underwriting profits and investment returns of $171 million for the first half of 2012 which contributed to Markel Corporation’s increase in book value of 8% during the same period.”

For more information:
Markel International
020 7953 6000

Andy Davies,
Finance Director
andy.davies@markelintl.com


Sean Martin, Marketing Director
sean.martin@markelintl.com


Cubitt Consulting
020 7367 5100
Michael Henman
michael.henman@cubitt.com

Notes to editors: Markel International is a subsidiary of Markel Corporation. Based in ondon and comprising the international operations of Markel Corporation, Markel International wrote gross premiums of $825 million in 2011. It has seven operating divisions and nine overseas offices writing business either through Markel Syndicate 3000 or Markel International Insurance Company Limited. Markel Corporation is a US listed business, capitalised at around $4.0 billion. In 2011, it wrote gross premiums of $2.3 billion. See www.markelintl.com