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Catastrophe losses hit Liberty Mutual’s first quarter profit

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Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc. reported a lower first quarter profit Thursday as catastrophe losses increased.

The Boston-based insurer reported net income of $351 million for the first quarter of 2017, down 11% from the same period a year ago as increased windstorm and hail losses overshadowed net investment gains.

Net written premiums in the quarter totaled $9.23 billion, a 5.3% increase over the same period last year. Liberty Mutual’s combined ratio deteriorated to 101.5%, compared with 96.3% in the same period last year.

On Monday Liberty Mutual announced that it had completed its acquisition of Ironshore Inc. for about $2.9 billion. The insurer in December that it was buying Ironshore from Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd.  The company said first quarter costs for the deal came to $10 million.

Liberty Mutual said it will combine much of its existing U.S. specialty business under the Ironshore brand.