Posted on 07 May 2010
Columbus, Ohio-based insurer Nationwide said it plans to fill 1,400 open positions across the country, as it announced first-quarter earnings of $394 million.
Nationwide said in a statement the jobs will top the 600 hirings last year. Of the 1,400 planned spots, 600 will be based in its home state of Ohio. The remainder of the jobs will be recruited for spots in the insurer’s main offices, primarily in Des Moines, Iowa and San Antonio and Amarillo, Texas, according to the company.
In its earnings statement, Nationwide reported a net income for the first quarter of $396 million, compared to a net loss of $106 million during the same time last year. Total revenue for the quarter was $5.1 billion, up 3% from the first quarter of 2009, according to the company.
The insurers said its first quarter 2010 results reflect “a significant recovery” in equity and credit market conditions from a year ago, when its results reflected higher impairments on investments, driving higher losses.
Nationwide’s net operating income for the first quarter was $423 million, up from $164 million during the same period in 2009. Included in operating results is more than $2.8 billion returned to policyholders through property-casualty claims, life insurance benefits, credited interest, and other accident and health benefits, the company said in a statement.
Steve Rasmusen, Nationwide’s chief executive officer, said in a statement that the insurer’s first quarter performance “clearly highlights continued momentum across our businesses, and reflects the strength and diversity of our insurance and financial services franchise.
“Nationwide’s mutual ownership structure allows us to more effectively align our business with meeting the needs of our policyholders,” he said. “Our mutual structure, strong capital position, engaged workforce, and relentless focus on delivering a personalized customer experience make it an exciting time to be part of Nationwide.”
Gains in primary areas of business
Net operating income for Nationwide’s property-casualty business lines for the quarter were $292 million, up significantly from the $46 million in the first quarter of last year, the company reported.
“The increase was attributed to lower overall claims, principally due to favorable experience on previous year’s reserves, as improved underwriting and claims practices resulted in payments emerging lower than previously estimated,” said Chief Financial Officer Mark R. Thresher. “Current year losses were also lower due to less severe weather-related losses. An increase in investment income also contributed to better first quarter results due to substantially improved market conditions and to increased levels of fixed income investments.”
Net operating income for Nationwide’s financial services business was $114 million for the first quarter of this year, compared to $80 million in the first quarter of 2009.
That performance reflects a “strong recovery” in equity and credit markets, driving higher asset-based fees on variable products, including annuities, retirement plans, mutual funds, and variable life insurance, the company reported.