SAFECO Tallies 1stQ Profits on Investments

April 23, 2002

Seattle-based SAFECO has reported a quarterly profit, noting gains from selling investments, increased life insurance earnings, and having to pay out less in storm claims through the winter.

SAFECO noted first-quarter net profits of $63.6 million, or 50 cents per share. That compared with a loss of $882.8 million, or $6.91 per share, in the year-ago quarter, which was impacted by a major goodwill write-off for acquisitions. The company made a profit by booking gains from selling investments and improving its underwriting performance, both in its life and property insurance units.

Revenues dropped 1 percent in the quarter to $1.7 billion, as SAFECO turned away more business.

Not including realized investment gains and other one-time items the company reported operating profits of 37 cents a share, up from 9 cents a year ago.

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