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Old Republic Reports Full-Year and Q4 Earnings

January 31, 2012

Old Republic International’s title insurance group posted a profit of $18.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and a profit of $36 million for the entire year, the company reported.

These earnings compare to a profit of $8 million during the fourth quarter of 2010 and profits of $9 million for the full year in 2010.

“When we look back at the Title Insurance business for the year, we would say we continue to be pleased that it seems to be making good progress in spite of what we would all say continues to be a somewhat choppy recovery in the housing finance business,” the company said in its earnings release.

The company reported total premiums and fees continued to show some comparative growth in the business and were up about 4 percent compared to fourth-quarter 2010. Old Republic attributed the gains to growth in market share it’s experienced over the last few years.

The company reported an expense ratio of 88.8 percent versus about 89.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. For the year, 2011’s expense ratio was 91.2 percent in comparison to the year-end ratio of 93 percent in 2010. The claims ratio for the fourth quarter 2011 compared to the fourth quarter of 2010 dipped to 7.8 percent from 8.4 percent, but was fundamentally flat in the year-to-year comparisons standing at 7.8 percent for 2011 compared to 8 percent for 2010.

Growth in premiums and fees benefitted from a combination of factors, Old Republic reported. Key among these have been market share gains emanating from title industry dislocations and consolidation during the past three years or so, and greater levels of refinancing activity in more recent times.

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