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Liberty Mutual profits up 12% in first half


BOSTON--Light catastrophe activity and growth in certain business lines allowed Liberty Mutual Group Inc. to grow it profits by 12%, to $689 million, in the first half of the year, the insurer said Tuesday.

For the quarter, Boston-based Liberty Mutual's profits rose 5% to $339 million from $323 million in the prior-year period.

Net written premiums for the first six months of 2007, meanwhile, came to $11.2 billion, an increase of $510 million over the year-earlier period.

Commenting on Liberty Mutual's results in a statement, Edmund F. Kelly, company chairman, chief executive officer and president, said: "Personal lines growth of 9% in the quarter is very satisfying in the face of intensifying but rational competition worldwide. A very challenging commercial lines market worldwide was met with underwriting discipline and conservative reserving."