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Fitch: Title Insurers To Break Revenue Records In 2002

September 26, 2002

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The title insurance industry is expected to break records in revenue and earnings in 2002, according to a new report by Fitch Ratings. The title insurers are well-positioned to break record revenues and earnings reported in 2001 with title-related revenue up more than 25% during the first half of 2002 and continued favorable market conditions.

Title operating segment revenue for the seven publicly traded title insurance companies reached $5.9 billion for the first six months of 2002, up from $4.6 billion over the same period in 2001, a 27% increase.

'The tentative recovery from the U.S. economic recession, combined with significant uncertainties such as potential military action against Iraq, are effectively keeping interest rates at very low levels,' said Doug M. Pawlowski, Senior Director, Fitch Ratings. 'Due to the continued low interest rates and current real estate market activity, title insurance order flow appears sufficient to maintain recent strong revenue trends throughout the rest of 2002.'

Looking ahead to 2003, The National Association of Home Builders is projecting a modest reduction in housing starts and home sales. Mortgage originations are anticipated to decline as well, barring a further significant decline in interest rates. Still, activity should be at levels that are conducive with favorable earnings for the title insurance sector.

For a copy of the report titled 'Title Insurer Midyear 2002 Results: Continued Strong Performance' please visit Fitch's web site at 'www.fitchratings.com' or contact the Ratings Desk at 1-800-893-4824.

Source: Fitch Ratings



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