Unum Group earnings rise; 2nd quarter above analysts' expectations

Unum Group earnings rise; 2nd quarter above analysts' expectations

August 6th, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Unum office buildings are seen behind on the the company's new parking garages in downtown Chattanooga.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Unum Group boosted its second-quarter income ahead of both year-ago and analysts' predictions, but company President Tom Watjen said the insurance and benefits market "remains challenging" in a relatively sluggish job market.

The Chattanooga-based disability insurer said Monday it earned net income of $218.6 million, or 82 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $216.4 million, or 76 cents per share a year ago. The 2013 results were 2 cents per share above the average analysts' predictions for the spring quarter.

"Driven primarily by very good risk results across our core business lines, operating performance in the second quarter remained strong with solid returns in our core business segments," Watjen said in releasing the quarterly results Monday night. "I am also encouraged by the performance we are seeing in those areas which had been operating below our expectations, especially in our Unum United Kingdom segment where the repricing actions we are taking are beginning to emerge in our results. While sales growth continues to be a challenge in the U.S., we remain committed to maintaining the pricing and underwriting discipline that has served us so well in the past."

Unum U.S., the largest divison, reported operating income of $214 million, up 0.6 percent from a year ago.

"Although the environment is expected to gradually improve, it still remains challenging, and we will continue to take the actions necessary to maintain the momentum we have worked so hard to create at the company," Watjen said.