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Hartford profits drop 81% from first quarter last year


HARTFORD, Conn.—Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. registered profits of $96 million during the first quarter of 2012, an 81% drop from that of the same period a year earlier, Hartford said Wednesday in its first quarter earnings statement.

Harford said the losses in its runoff operations in the first quarters of this year and last “were primarily related to the company's international annuity hedging program. Losses increased in the first quarter of 2012 due primarily to depreciation of the yen in relation to the Euro and U.S. dollar and an improvement in global and domestic equity markets.”

Written premiums for Hartford's commercial property/casualty operation increased 2.6% to $1.69 billion. The combined ratio for Hartford's property/casualty commercial operation deteriorated to 99.7% during the first three months of this year from 97.9% during the same period a year earlier.

‘Moving quickly' on restructuring

Hartford announced in March that it planned to divest itself of individual life, annuities and other businesses to concentrate on property/casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds.

During a conference call discussing the first quarter, Hartford Chairman, President and CEO Liam McGee said the company had experienced “strong first quarter results.” He also said Hartford was “moving quickly” on the restructuring plan announced in March.

In a statement in the earnings release, Mr. McGee said the commercial property/casualty operations' “pricing momentum continued and retention remained strong.”