Donegal Group Inc (NASDAQ:DGICB) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Oct 31, 2019 • 11:00 am ET
Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by and welcome to the Donegal Group Third Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today Jeff Miller Chief Financial Officer. Please go ahead.
Jeffrey D. Miller
Thank you very much. Good morning and welcome to the Donegal Group conference call for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30 2019. Yesterday afternoon we issued a news release outlining our quarterly results. For a copy of that release please visit the Investor Relations section of our website at donegalgroup.com. In today's call Kevin Burke President and Chief Executive Officer will discuss a number of recent developments and update you on our business strategy and initiatives. I'll follow Kevin's comments with an overview of our quarterly financial details. At the conclusion of our prepared comments we will open the line for any questions you might have. Before we get started, you should be aware that our commentary today includes forward looking statements but involves a number of risks and uncertainties. we described forward looking statements in our news release, and we provided further information about risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those we project in the forward looking statements, in the report on Form 10-K that we submitted to the SEC. You can access our Form 10-K through the Investors section of our website under the SEC Filings link. We use certain non-GAAP financial measures to analyze our business results and refer you to the reconciliation of non-GAAP information included in the news release we issued yesterday.
With that I'll turn it over to Kevin.
Kevin G. Burke
Thanks Jeff and welcome everyone. Looking back over the first nine months of 2019 we can see clear results of our efforts over the past two years to shift our business mix in favor of commercial lines and begin to return personal lines to sustained profitability. The dust has started to settle from the numerous tactical measures we implemented in 2018 and our focus on 2019 has shifted to forward-looking strategies and action plans to achieve longer-term objectives. Ultimately our goal is to develop a solid foundation and position Donegal Group to deliver consistent underwriting profitability and book value growth over time. Our third quarter and year-to-date 2019 results provide solid evidence of progress in several key areas. Commercial premiums again exceeded 50% of our total business writings and grew by over 13% in the third quarter.
We were pleased with the incremental improvement over the prior year quarter and remain focused on addressing specific lines of business that have not achieved targeted level of profitability primarily commercial and personal auto. Commercial lines growth reflected strong new business writings and modest average pricing increases on renewal business. We are focused on -- focusing on seeking profitable growth in specific geographical markets where we see attractive opportunities to increase scale and profitability. Despite competitive conditions in our regional markets we achieved double-digit percentage increases in net