An increase in Scor SE's fourth-quarter 2017 net income proved insufficient to offset losses booked in the previous quarter, leading to a 52.6% year-over-year decline in the French reinsurance company's annual profit.
Scor reported fourth-quarter 2017 consolidated net income group share of €261 million, up 58.2% from the year-ago €165 million, but full-year 2017 net income declined year over year to €286 million from €603 million earned in 2016. Fourth-quarter 2017 rose to €1.39 from 86 cents, while full-year EPS fell to €1.53 from €3.26 in 2016.
The company's combined ratio for the year stood at 103.7%, compared to 93.1% in 2016. Scor said natural catastrophes in 2017, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, impacted its combined ratio by 14.9 percentage points.
A combined ratio above 100% implies an underwriting loss.
Gross written premiums reached €3.67 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to €3.61 billion during the same period a year ago. Investment income rose to €316 million from €169 million.
Return on equity for the fourth quarter increased year-on-year to 18.3% from 10.4%. For full year 2017, ROE declined to 4.5% from 9.5%.
Scor's solvency ratio stood at 213%, toward the upper end of its optimal solvency range of 185% to 220%.
The company intends to pay a dividend of €1.65 per share for 2017, unchanged from the year-ago dividend.