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Liberty Mutual Posts Decline in First-Quarter Profit

Posted on 05 May 2009

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Liberty Mutual Group Inc., the policyholder-owned insurer that purchased Safeco Corp. last year, said first-quarter profit fell 92 percent on losses tied to private equity investments.

Net income was $28 million, compared with $360 million in the year-earlier period, the Boston-based company said today in a statement distributed by Business Wire.

“We felt the negative impact of the capital markets this quarter,” Chief Executive officer Edmund "Ted" Kelly said in the statement.

Kelly sold shares of Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and General Electric Co. last year to reduce the risk of further declines after spending more than $6 billion for Seattle-based Safeco. Kelly is seeking to add customers as competitors including American International Group Inc. and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. are hobbled by investment losses.