Chattanooga-based Unum boosts second quarter profits

Chattanooga-based Unum boosts second quarter profits

July 30th, 2014 by Ellis Smith in Local - Breaking News

Unum Group's headquarters overlook downtown Chattanooga.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Chattanooga-based Unum Group grew at a brisk pace in the second quarter, brushing aside the memory of previous years that saw rising profits but slipping revenues.

The company grew after-tax operating income, which excludes certain onetime expenses, to $234.8 million, or 91 cents per share, up from $218.5 million, or 82 cents per share in the second quarter of 2013.

"I'm pleased to report it was a strong quarter, with each of our businesses performing quite well in terms of both profitability and growth," Unum CEO Tom Watjen wrote in a letter to employees.

For several consecutive quarters, the company has bolstered earnings per share by buying back millions of dollars worth of its own shares, reducing the number of outstanding shares reletive to shrinking sales. But this quarter, the company grew revenue to $2.65 billion, up $500 million over the second quarter of 2014.

"More importantly, though, this improvement was driven by a combination of the impact of our share repurchase program and solid business unit operating earnings, which is the kind of balance we like to see," Watjen wrote.

Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.