Primary Banner Beige

Markel Reports Second Quarter and Six-Month Results

RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported diluted net income per share of $3.34 for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 compared to $8.29 for the second quarter of 2008. Diluted net income per share was $5.00 for the six months ended June 30, 2009 compared to $11.69 for the same period of 2008. The combined ratio for the second quarter of 2009 was 99% compared to 95% for the second quarter of 2008. The combined ratio was 97% for the six months ended June 30, 2009 compared to 93% for the same period of 2008. Book value per common share outstanding increased 8% to $239.68 at June 30, 2009 from $222.20 at December 31, 2008, which was driven by improvement in the market value of the Company's investment portfolio.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our increase in book value per share resulted from improved investment results and strong underwriting performance from our international operations during the first six months of 2009. While competition continues to be intense in the property and casualty insurance marketplace, we remain focused on disciplined underwriting and our long-term performance goals. With strong liquidity and a solid balance sheet, we are well positioned for future growth opportunities."

The Company also announced today it has filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A copy of the Form 10-Q is available on the Company's website at www.markelcorp.com or on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Readers are urged to review the Form 10-Q for a more complete discussion of the Company's financial performance. The Company's quarterly conference call, which will involve discussion of the Company's financial results and business developments and may include forward-looking information, will be held Thursday, August 6, 2009, beginning at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Savings Time). Any person interested in listening to the call, or a replay of the call, which will be available from approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call until Friday, August 14, 2009, should contact Markel's Investor Relations Department at 804-747-0136. Investors, analysts and the general public also may listen to the call free over the Internet through the Company's web site, www.markelcorp.com.

Markel Corporation markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of niche markets. In each of these markets, the Company seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.

SOURCE  Markel Corporation

    -0-                           08/05/2009
    /CONTACT:  Bruce Kay of Markel Corporation, +1-804-747-0136/
    /Web Site:  http://www.markelcorp.com /
    (MKL)

CO:  Markel Corporation

ST:  Virginia
IN:  INS FIN
SU:  ERN

PR
-- PH57279 --
1079 08/05/2009 16:52 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com