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Business Observer Friday, Mar. 18, 2011 10 years ago

United Insurance posts loss

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United's fourth quarter was successful, but the company lost money in 2010.

ST. PETERSBURG — United Insurance Holdings Corp. (symbol: UIHC) ended 2010 with a pre-tax net loss of $1.4 million. After taking advantage of a small tax benefit, the St. Petersburg-based insurance holding company posted a $925,000 loss.

In contrast, the company earned $4 million in profits in 2009. The problem was revenue generation: after bringing in $88.5 million in revenues in 2009, United generated just $80 million in 2010 revenues.

A strong performance in the last quarter of the year did mitigate United's 2010 losses, however. In the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010, United earned $23.7 million in revenues, up 22% from the same period a year ago. Fourth quarter profits were $2.9 million, a sharp turnaround from the $1.2 million loss posted the year before.

In 2011, creating new business in markets outside of Florida will drive United's revenue growth, explained CEO Don Cronin.

Referring to 2010, Cronin said, “We continued to diversify our book of business through our expansion into South Carolina in July and our approval to begin writing in Massachusetts. We feel that this expansion is a strong complement to our existing operations in Florida and can serve as a driver of policy and revenue growth in 2011 and beyond.”

United is also attempting to enter Rhode Island, New York, North Carolina, and New Jersey.

United Insurance Holdings Corp. generates revenues through United Property & Casualty Insurance Co., its wholly owned subsidiary. The holding company's stock is up nearly 5% so far this year, to a per-share price of $3.25.

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