Bermuda-based PXRE showed an increase in pretax earnings for the three months ended 31 December 2003, and for its full year trading.

Pretax profit for the fourth quarter of 2003 was up 19% to $25.8m, compared with $21.7m for the fourth quarter of 2002. Similarly, pretax profits for the full year were up 18% from $82.4m to $97.5m.

Turnover for the final quarter of 2003 was down from $88.7m to $83m. But turnover for the full year was up 19% to $320.9m from $269.4m for 2002.

PXRE president and chief executive Jeffrey Radke said the results were evidence of the company's return to a focus on catastrophe and risk excess.

Combined ratio for the fourth quarter was 75.6%, down from 84.2% for the comparable period in 2002.