UPDATE 1-Fairfax Financial posts Q1 profit

Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:09pm EDT

* Q1 EPS $14.02 vs yr-ago loss/shr $3.55

* Consolidated combined ratio up to 111.5 pct

* Revenue rises 41 pct to $1.8 bln

April 29 (Reuters) - Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FFH.TO), which deals in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, posted a quarterly profit, helped mainly by net investment gains.

The Toronto-based financial services company said its profit was $290.2 million in the first quarter ended March 31, or $14.02 per share.

That was a turnaround from a year earlier, when big investment losses pushed income into the red. Fairfax recorded a net loss of $39.6 million in the first quarter of 2009, or $3.55 a share.

Net investment gains for the quarter was $415.6 million, the company said in a statement.

Analysts had expected earnings per share of $7.725, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 41 percent to $1.8 billion.

Fairfax's consolidated combined ratio, a measure of profitability, for its various insurance and reinsurance operations was 111.5 percent.

Net premiums written in the first quarter decreased 1.9 percent to $1.09 billion.

Shares of the company closed at C$367.91 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)

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