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Hartford's net income dips

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Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. saw a slight uptick in written premiums in the first quarter of this year, though its profit and combined ratio deteriorated slightly.

Hartford reported Monday that it had $1.72 billion in written premiums for its commercial lines during the quarter ended March 31, up 3% from the first quarter of 2014.

Hartford’s first-quarter consolidated net income dipped 5.6% year-over-year to $467 million.

The insurer noted that its combined ratio climbed to 91.7% for the recent quarter, up from 89.6% in the first quarter of 2014. However, the insurer noted that a $32 million reduction in New York State Workers’ Compensation Board assessments lowered the 2014 quarterly combined ratio by two percentage points.

Hartford also saw an uptick in its workers comp business, reporting $744 million in workers comp earned premiums during the first quarter of this year, up 1.6% from a year ago.

Chairman and CEO Christopher Swift called the first quarter results a “good start to 2015” in a conference call with investors on Tuesday.

“I’m confident that we are well-positioned to navigate the more competitive market in a continued low interest rate environment,” he said. “We will maintain our underwriting and pricing discipline while also investing in our businesses with a goal of increasing our (return on equity) and book value per share to drive shareholder value creation.”