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IRB-Brasil raises written premiums forecast as Q2 profit jumps 35%

IRB-Brasil Resseguros SA raised its forecast for year-over-year written premium growth in 2019 as the company's second-quarter profit jumped 35% from a year earlier.

The reinsurer resumed the disclosure of financial guidance after suspending it at the launch of its secondary share offering in July. The company said it now expects written premiums to grow 20% to 27% from 2018, compared to a previous estimate of between 17% and 24%.

The higher forecast follows written premiums increasing 22% year over year in the second quarter to about 2.36 billion Brazilian reais.

The company kept its 2019 guidance unchanged for an amplified combined ratio of between 69% and 73% and an administrative expenses ratio of between 4.6% and 5.2%.

IRB-Brasil's second-quarter net income grew to 388.4 million reais from 287.3 million reais a year earlier, with earned premiums increasing 18% and its underwriting result improving 19%.

Following the secondary share offering in July, which allowed IRB-Brasil to become a fully publicly held corporation with diluted controlling stock, Brazil's federal government now holds just one golden share in the company, according to its earnings release.

In the offering, the government and BB Seguros Participações SA sold 83,978,450 IRB-Brasil common shares for total proceeds of about 7.39 billion reais. State-run Caixa Econômica Federal divested its entire stake in IRB earlier in 2019.

IRB-Brasil said its stock price rose 21% in the first half of this year.

As of Aug. 5, US$1 was equivalent to 3.94 Brazilian reais.