American Safety Insurance Holdings, Ltd. reported net income of $6.9 million, or $0.65 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2009. This was a vast improvement from the loss of $8.2 million, or $0.80 per diluted share, in the same quarter of 2008.

Full year 2009 net income was reported at $24.3 million, or $2.30 per diluted share, compared to net income of $0.03 million, or $0.03 per diluted share in 2008.

Management attributed the turnaround to higher growth in certain insurance lines, a lower combined ratio, and better underwriting by the company

Stephen R. Crim, the CEO of American Safety Insurance Holdings, Ltd., said, “I am pleased with the improvements in the Company’s expense ratio, loss ratio and return on equity in the face of a competitive insurance market and difficult economy. We achieved growth in our newer excess and surplus lines products, as well as in shorter tail lines, resulting in a more balanced product portfolio.”

American Safety Insurance Holdings, Ltd. said that its return on average equity increased to 10.8% for the full year 2009, up from 6.6% in 2008. American Safety Insurance Holdings, Ltd. also grew its book value to $26.33 at the end of 2009 from $21.12 a year earlier, due mostly to a recovery in the financial markets.