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Liberty Mutual first quarter net income up 26% from year-ago period


BOSTON—Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc. recorded net income of $459 million during the first quarter 2012, a 26% rise from the same period a year earlier, the insurer reported Thursday.

The company's net written premiums rose 6.5% in the quarter to $8.08 billion, while investment income fell 6% to $862 million. Liberty's results also were buoyed by a decrease in catastrophe losses, which fell 45% to $321 million, as opposed to the $588 million in losses the company tallied in the first quarter last year. Liberty Mutual's combined ratio also improved for the quarter, decreasing 1.5% to 100.9%.

“Our net income of $459 million was up 26% in the quarter reflecting an accelerating commercial lines price trend, excellent noncatastrophe personal lines results, and fewer international catastrophes,” said Liberty Mutual President and CEO David H. Long said in a statement. “Our growth was strong where we targeted, with increases of 12% internationally and 9% in domestic personal lines, while U.S. commercial lines contracted an acceptable 1%. These results, plus our acquisition of KIT Finance Insurance in Russia, have provided an encouraging start to the year.”

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