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Markel Reports Second Quarter and Six-Month Results

RICHMOND, Va., Aug 06, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported diluted net income per share of $2.12 for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 compared to $3.34 for the second quarter of 2009. Diluted net income per share was $6.46 for the six months ended June 30, 2010 compared to $5.00 for the same period of 2009. The combined ratio for the second quarter of 2010 was 103% compared to 99% for the second quarter of 2009. The combined ratio was 102% for the six months ended June 30, 2010 compared to 97% for the same period of 2009. For the six months ended June 30, 2010, the combined ratio included $32.7 million, or 4 points, of underwriting loss on the Chilean earthquake and the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion, which occurred in February 2010 and April 2010, respectively. Book value per common share outstanding increased 3% to $291.71 at June 30, 2010 from $282.55 at December 31, 2009.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We continue to operate in a difficult underwriting environment; however, we remain committed to underwriting profitability in any environment. While intense pressure on pricing persists, we are excited about the opportunities we see to expand into new product areas, as evidenced by our recently announced agreement to acquire Aspen Holdings, Inc., a Nebraska-based provider of workers' compensation insurance."

The Company also announced today it has filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 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 Monday, August 9, 2010, 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 Tuesday, August 17, 2010, 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