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Liberty Mutual net income rises 3.5% in first quarter

Profit up

Liberty Mutual Holding Company Inc. and its subsidiaries reported higher net income in the first quarter of 2019 amid lower catastrophe losses.

Net income rose 3.5% to $671 million for the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period last year, according to the earnings statement released Thursday by the Boston-based insurer.

Net written premium in the first quarter of 2019 was $9.7 billion, a 2.8% increase over the same period in 2018, “primarily produced by strong performance in specialty insurance,” David Long, chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The insurer’s total combined ratio for the three months ended March 31, including the impact of catastrophes and net incurred losses attributable to prior years, was 96.3%, compared with 99.0% in the same period in 2018.

On April 15, Liberty Mutual announced it has agreed to acquire the global surety and credit reinsurance operations of AmTrust Financial Services Inc., including AmTrust Surety, AmTrust Insurance Spain, Nationale Borg and Nationale Borg Reinsurance, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. In March, Liberty Mutual said it would sell its Pembroke Managing Agency Ltd., Ironshore Europe operations and Visionary (Dubai) units to Hamilton Insurance Group Ltd.

The two transactions were “aimed at optimizing our insurance portfolio,” and the sale of the Pembroke syndicate and Ironshore Europe business “eliminates duplicate efforts and thereby streamlines our global specialty business,” Mr. Long said.

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