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Liberty Mutual Holding first quarter net income down from last year

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Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc.’s net income for the first quarter of 2014 dropped 14.5% from that of the same period a year earlier to $272 million, the Boston-based insurer announced Friday.

Net written premiums for the first three months of the year increased 4.2% to $8.79 billion. The combined ratio deteriorated to 99.6% from 98.1% during the same period a year earlier. In its earnings release, Liberty Mutual noted that its catastrophe losses for the first quarter of the year reached $487 million, an increase of 119.4% over catastrophe losses during the same period in 2013.

“Our first quarter results reflect the balance of positive rate and retention in our primary lines of business and continued improved profitability of our core businesses,” said Liberty Mutual Chairman and CEO David H. Long in a statement.

“Net income for continuing operations was $326 million, up 7% year-over-year,” he said. “Including the loss in discontinued operations of $64 million, primarily due to the sale of our company in Argentina, consolidated net income was $262 million. Growth remained healthy, with net written premium increasing 8% in local currencies, or 4% after the impact of foreign exchange.”