Liberty Mutual Absorbs $800 Million in Catastrophe Losses in Q3

November 11, 2008

Quarterly profits nosedived by nearly 99 percent at Boston-based Liberty Mutual group, which saw its third quarter earnings fall to $6 million – down from $404 million in the same quarter last year.

“Given the circumstances, we are pleased with our results in the third quarter,” said Edmund F. Kelly, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Liberty Mutual Group. “We absorbed over $800 million of pre-tax natural catastrophe losses and approximately $250 million of pre-tax investment losses and still reported positive, albeit slightly (lower), results in the quarter. The fundamental strength of our business has never been more apparent.”

Net written premium for the quarter, which ended September 30, was $6.5 billion, an increase of $751 million, or 13 percent, over the year-ago period.

Quarterly revenues at Liberty Mutual climbed $282 million, or 4.3 percent, to nearly $6.9 billion.

Third quarter results for Liberty Mutual also include the results of the operations of Safeco Corp., which Liberty Mutual Group acquired for $6.2 billion as of Sept. 22. Safeco is now part of the Liberty Mutual Agency Markets.

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