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Liberty Mutual 2nd-quarter net income down 12.3% on catastrophe losses

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Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc. reported net income of $393 million for the second quarter of 2014 on Tuesday, a 12.3% decrease driven in part by higher catastrophe losses over the same period a year ago.

The Boston-based multiline mutual insurer posted second-quarter net written premiums of $9.182 billion, an increase of 5.2% over the same period in 2013. Its combined ratio for the second quarter improved to 100.4% from 101.4% in the prior-year period.

On a six-month basis, net income fell 13.2% this year from the first half of 2013 to $665 million, and net written premiums rose 4.7% to $17.97 billion. The company's combined ratio deteriorated slightly to 100.0% from 99.8% in the same period a year ago.

The company reported increased catastrophe losses for both the second quarter and the first six months of the year, with catastrophe losses for the second quarter rising 4.5% to $676 million and those for the first half increasing 33.8% to $1.16 billion.

“Net written premium growth was healthy at just above 5% quarter over quarter, and underwriting improvements lowered the combined ratio by a point despite sizable severe storm losses,” said David H. Long, chairman and CEO of Liberty Mutual, in a statement. “In short, we continue to improve underwriting results and grow where we can do so profitably.”