Posted on 07 Mar 2012
Liberty Mutual Group's fourth-quarter earnings slumped 51% as severe flooding in Thailand helped to push the insurer's catastrophe losses higher.
Like its fellow insurers, Liberty Mutual has seen its results come under pressure from a wave of natural disasters that has sent catastrophe losses soaring across the insurance industry. The company's catastrophe losses totaled $234 million in the latest period, up from $198 million a year earlier.
For the fourth quarter, Liberty Mutual reported a profit of $284 million, down from a year-earlier profit of $576 million. Revenue rose 4.8% to $8.96 billion.
Excluding catastrophe losses and other items, the company's combined ratio--the percentage of premiums it paid out on losses--rose to 98.3% from 97.3% a year earlier. Including those factors, the ratio rose to 104.2% from 99.2%.
The company, owned by its policyholders, doesn't have publicly traded stock and voluntarily reports its quarterly results.