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White Mountains Adopts $1 Per Share Annual Dividend Policy

August 28, 2008 at 5:31 PM EDT
HAMILTON, Bermuda, Aug 28, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- At its regular meeting held on August 27, 2008, the Board of Directors of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM) adopted a new dividend policy whereby the company will revert back to declaring a $1 per share annual dividend in the first quarter of each year, rather than the current $2 per share quarterly dividend.

White Mountains Chairman and CEO Ray Barrette said, "Given the recent market price of our common shares, we believe reducing our dividend payout and allocating these resources to share repurchases is a better way to maximize shareholder value."

From 2001 to 2004, the company paid a $1 per share annual dividend. In 2005, the company began its previous $2 per share quarterly dividend policy.


White Mountains is a Bermuda-domiciled financial services holding company traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Bermuda Stock Exchange under the symbol WTM. Additional financial information and other items of interest are available at the Company's web site located at

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This earnings release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included or referenced in this release which address activities, events or developments which we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. The words "will," "believe," "intend," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "estimate," "predict" and similar expressions are also intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements with respect to White Mountains':

-- growth in adjusted book value per share or return on equity;

-- business strategy;

-- financial and operating targets or plans;

-- incurred losses and the adequacy of its loss and loss adjustment expense reserves and related reinsurance;

-- projections of revenues, income (or loss), earnings (or loss) share, dividends, market share or other financial forecasts;

    -- expansion and growth of our business and operations; and
    -- future capital expenditures.

These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by White Mountains in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors believed to be appropriate in the circumstances. However, whether actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations, including:

-- the risks associated with Item 1A of White Mountains' 2007 Annual Report on Form 10-K;

-- claims arising from catastrophic events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or terrorist attacks;

    -- the continued availability of capital and financing;
    -- general economic, market or business conditions;
    -- business opportunities (or lack thereof) that may be presented to it
       and pursued;

-- competitive forces, including the conduct of other property and casualty insurers and reinsurers;

-- changes in domestic or foreign laws or regulations, or their interpretation, applicable to White Mountains, its competitors or its clients;

-- an economic downturn or other economic conditions adversely affecting its financial position;

    -- recorded loss reserves subsequently proving to have been inadequate;
    -- other factors, most of which are beyond White Mountains' control.

Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made in this earnings release are qualified by these cautionary statements, and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by White Mountains will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, White Mountains or its business or operations. White Mountains assumes no obligation to publicly update any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: David Foy

Tel: (203) 458-5850

SOURCE White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd.