Unum sees Q1 profits dip

Posted May 04, 2011, at 8:38 a.m.
Last modified May 04, 2011, at 9:48 a.m.

Employee benefits and disability insurance provider Unum Group said on Tuesday that its first-quarter profit slipped 2 percent as revenues dropped at its business in the United Kingdom and its Colonial Life segment.

Unum reported a profit of $225.4 million, or 72 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31. That was down from $229.8 million, or 69 cents per share, in in last year’s first quarter, when the Chattanooga-based company had a larger number of shares outstanding.

Unum, a disability insurance provider, employs roughly 10,000 people worldwide and just over 3,000 in Maine. It was formed from the 1998 merger of Portland-based Unum Corp. and Tennessee-based Provident Corp.

“Our first quarter results were generally in line with our expectations and represent a solid start to 2011,” said Thomas R. Watjen, president and CEO, in a statement. “While the current environment still remains challenging, our disciplined approach to the business is serving us well, enabling us to continue to generate excess capital which gives us significant financial flexibility.”

Excluding one-time items, Unum reported an adjusted profit of $215.7 million, or 69 cents per share, in the latest period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a slightly higher profit of 70 cents per share, on average.

Unum said its U.S. business segment posted operating income of $209.1 million, up 5 percent from the year-ago quarter. Premium income was essentially flat, at $1.22 billion.

Unum UK’s operating income dropped nearly 20 percent to $48.7 million. Premium income rose nearly 1 percent to $167.1 million, and sales fell 27 percent.

The company’s Colonial Life division reported a nearly 6 percent decline in operating income to $69 million, as premium income and sales decreased.

The corporate and other segment reported an operating loss of $21.7 million, compared with a loss of $8.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

Unum reported first-quarter results after its shares fell 23 cents to close at $26.15. The stock lost another 2 cents in aftermarket trading, to $26.13.

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