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Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. reported a 21% increase in net income in the third quarter of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018, according to its first earnings statement incorporating business from newly purchased Navigators Group Inc.
The Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer reported net income in the third quarter of 2019 of $524 million, an increase of 21% from the same period last year, according to its earnings report released Monday.
The increase was principally due in part to lower catastrophes this year, a significantly lower group disability loss ratio and higher net investment income, earnings from the retained 9.7% equity interest in the limited partnership that acquired the life and annuity business sold in May 2018, and an increase in net realized capital gains, partially offset by a loss on extinguishment of debt and higher integration costs from the Navigators acquisition, announced in 2018, according to the report.
Chairman and CEO Christopher Swift, during the insurer’s earnings conference call Tuesday, said “progress to date is on track” with regard to the purchase of Navigators and that he is “very pleased” with the collaboration, providing for “strong financial results across all lines.”
"This is our first full quarter with Navigators and we continue to focus on integration and achieving key milestones as we operate as an integrated team,” he said in an earlier statement on the results, which put total revenue for the third quarter at $4.8 billion, with $2.1 billion coming from commercial lines, according to the report.
Core earnings of $548 million and core earnings per diluted share of $1.50 in third quarter 2019 were up 31% and 30%, respectively, compared with third quarter 2018, primarily attributed to lower current accident year catastrophes, a lower group disability loss ratio and higher net investment income, according to the report.
In the commercial lines, Hartford reported net income of $336 million in third quarter 2019, a 16% increase over the $289 million reported in third-quarter 2018. Core earnings were also up in commercial lines: 14%, $303 million up from $265 million. Written premiums increased 28%, $2.2 billion over the $1.7 billion in third quarter 2018.
Written premiums increased 17% primarily due to commercial lines results that included the first full quarter of Navigators and were up 1% excluding Navigators, according to the report.
The report also showed a combined ratio of 95.5% in the third quarter, 1.8 points better than 97.3% last year. The underlying combined ratio was 93.6%, 0.4 points higher than 93.2% in the third quarter of 2018, primarily due to the inclusion of Navigators, which typically runs at a higher combined ratio, partially offset by lower property losses in commercial lines, according to the report.
Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. reported higher catastrophe losses in the fourth quarter of 2018, but the insurer returned to profit after posting a big quarterly loss a year earlier related to special charges.