Axis Capital Holdings Ltd (NYSE:AXS) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jul 29, 2020 • 09:30 am ET


Axis Capital Holdings Ltd (NYSE:AXS) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day, and welcome to the second quarter 2020 AXIS Capital Earnings Conference Call and Webcast. [Operator Instructions] Please note, this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference call over to Mr. Matt Rohrmann, investor relations. Mr. Rohrmann, the floor is yours, sir.

Matthew J. Rohrmann

Thank you, Mike. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I'm happy to welcome you to our conference call to discuss the financial results for AXIS Capital for the second quarter period ended June 30, 2020. Our earnings press release, financial supplement and 10-Q were issued yesterday evening after the market closed.

If you'd like copies, please visit the Investor Information section of our website at We set aside an hour for today's call, which is also available as an audio webcast. This is also available through the investor information section of our website. With me today are Albert Benchimol, our president and CEO; and Pete Vogt, our CFO.

Before I turn the call over to Albert, I'll remind everyone that the statements made today during this call including the question-and-answer session, which are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including the risk factors set forth in the company's most recent report on Form 10-K and other reports the company files with the SEC. This includes the company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2020, as well as additional risks identified in the cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements in our earnings press release. We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements.

In addition, this presentation may contain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations are included in our earnings press release and financial supplement.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Albert.

Albert A. Benchimol

Thank you, Matt. And good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining our second quarter earnings call. I'm pleased to report the positive momentum that we've seen in our underlying performance over the past few quarters continued into this most recent period. We're highly encouraged by the sustained progress, which follows several years of rigorous efforts to enhance our market positioning, reshape our portfolio, reduce volatility and increase our operating efficiency with investments in technology and a companywide focus on expense discipline.

As we noted in the press release, we saw meaningful improvements in our underwriting results in the quarter. Underwriting income increased year over year, notwithstanding higher cats and lower prior year development. Our reported current accident year combined ratio, excluding catastrophes and weather-related losses, of 91.4% is a nearly five-point improvement in core performance compared to the prior year quarter. This includes a 1.7-point decrease in our current year ex-cat loss ratio, more than a one-point improvement in our acquisition costs, and a two-point reduction in our G&A ratio.

And for the six-month period, our reported current year ex-cat combined ratio of 92.3% reflects core performance that was