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CNA Financial profit soars in first quarter

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CNA Financial Corp. on Monday reported net income of $260 million for the first quarter of 2017, nearly quadruple its profit in the year-ago quarter.

The Chicago-based insurer in a statement credited "focus on underwriting performance and expense discipline" for the surge.

Net investment after taxes increased to $389 million, up 23.5% from $315 million a year ago. Property/casualty net written premiums slipped 2.2% year over year to $1.6 billion.

Catastrophe losses were $4 million, or 0.5 points of the loss ratio in the first quarter of 2017, compared with $4 million, or 0.6 points of the loss ratio, for the prior-year quarter, according to the statement.

The insurer’s property/casualty operations’ combined ratio for the first quarter was 97.2%, 94.8% excluding the impact of the small business premium adjustment, and a deterioration from the year-ago figure of 96.1%.

“Given our focus on underwriting performance and expense discipline, I am pleased that each of our P&C segments produced underlying adjusted combined ratios equal to or better than last year's first quarter,” Dino E. Robusto, CNA Financial’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.