Optimum Général Inc.
TSX : OGI.SV.A

Optimum Général Inc.

August 10, 2005 14:10 ET

Second Quarter of Fiscal 2005: Optimum General Inc. Announces an Income for a Ninth Consecutive Quarter

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 10, 2005) - All amounts are in CDN$.

Optimum General Inc. (TSX:OGI.SV.A) reported today that its net income for the second quarter ended June 30, 2005, is $1.3 million or $0.11 per share, compared to a net income of $2.2 million or $0.19 per share for the same period last year. For the first six months of fiscal 2005, net income is $2.4 million or $0.20 per share, compared to a net income of $2.5 million or $0.21 per share for the same period last year. The Company posted a profit for a ninth consecutive quarter.

"We are satisfied with the results achieved since the beginning of the year. Despite the increase of the loss ratio during the second quarter, net income for the first six months of 2005 is approximately similar to that of 2004", explained Mr. Jean-Claude Page, President and Chief Executive Officer of Optimum General Inc.

In the second quarter of 2005, direct written premiums were $34.5 million, compared to $37.6 million for the same period last year. Net earned premiums for the second quarter rose to $25.1 million versus $24.6 million for the same period a year earlier. For the first six months of 2005, direct earned premiums were $63.1 million, compared to $68.6 for the same period in 2004. Finally, net earned premiums for the first six months of 2005 were $49.5 million, compared to $50 million during the same six-month period last year.

The Company's claims ratio for the second quarter of 2005 was 51.7%, compared to 44.8% for the corresponding quarter of 2004. For the first six months of the year, the loss ratio was 53.2%, which is identical to that of the same period of 2004.

The combined ratio (claims and expenses) was 98% for the second quarter of 2005, compared to 90.6% for the same period last year. For the first six months of 2005, the combined ratio was 98.5%, compared to 96.8% for the same six-month period of 2004.

Optimum General reported an underwriting income of $512,000 for the second quarter, compared to $2.3 million for the same period in 2004. For the first six months of 2005, the Company realized an underwriting income of $739,000, compared to $1.6 million for the same period last year.

Investment income for the second quarter was $1.4 million, compared to $1 million for the same period last year. For the first six months of 2005, investment income was $2.6 million, compared to $1.9 million for the same period in 2004.

Moreover, as announced at the beginning of the year, the Company will streamline its structure by merging two of its subsidiaries, Optimum Frontier Insurance Company, in Ontario, and Optimum Insurance Company Inc., in Quebec. The procedures related to this merger are evolving positively and should be completed during the fall of 2005. The company resulting from the merger will be governed by Quebec's laws and will be known as Optimum Insurance Company Inc. (or its French version Optimum Societe d'Assurance inc.). This merger will have no incidence on policyholders nor on the distribution of the products currently offered by these two subsidiaries.



Financial Highlights
In thousands of Canadian dollars (except per-share data)
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PERIOD ENDING JUNE 30
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Three months Six months
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2005 2004 2005 2004
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Direct written premiums $34,480 $37,623 $63,102 $68,561
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Net earned premiums $25,137 $24,621 $49,477 $49,994
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Net income $1,312 $2,212 $2,373 $2,471
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Net income per share $0.11 $0.19 $0.20 $0.21
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Combined ratio 98.0% 90.6% 98.5% 96.8%
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The Class A subordinate voting shares of Optimum General Inc. are
listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker symbol
OGI.SV.A.


About Optimum General Inc.

Optimum General Inc. (TSX: OGI.SV.A) is a Canadian company that underwrites mainly in Canada property and casualty insurance through four subsidiaries: Optimum West Insurance Company in British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon; Optimum Frontier Insurance Company in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and the Territory of Nunavut; Optimum Insurance Company Inc. and Optimum Farm Insurance Inc. in Quebec. The products of these subsidiaries are distributed through a wide network of independent insurance brokers.

Optimum General Inc. is a member company of Optimum Group, a Canadian-owned international financial group also active in life insurance, life reinsurance, consulting and financial services.

www.optimum-general.com

Contact Information

  • Optimum General Inc.
    Jean-Claude Page, FSA, FCIA
    President and CEO
    (514) 288-8725
    or
    Optimum General Inc.
    Louis P. Pontbriand, CA
    Senior Vice-President and CFO
    (514) 288-8725