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Unum Group boosted its second quarter net income by 10 percent from a year ago to $236.8 million, or $1 per share.

Despite a decline in its United Kingdom business and the continued challenge to investment income in the current low-interest rate environment, the Chattanooga-based insurer said its after-tax operating income, which excludes after-tax realized investment gains and losses on the company's investment portfolio and pension plan costs, was $235.7 million, or 99 cents per share, in the second quarter of this year. A year ago, Unum reported after-tax operating income of $222.6 million , or 89 cents per share.

"Second quarter results were very strong, reflecting the ongoing operating performance of our business segments," Unum CEO Richard McKenney said in the company's quarterly earnings report released today after the market closed. "We continue to see solid levels of premium growth in our core business segments along with stable benefits experience and favorable expense management trends. These strong operating results continue to provide a significant level of financial flexibility for our company as we continue to create value for our shareholders through our share repurchase activity, dividends, and our investments in our future growth."

The operating results were 5 cents per share better than the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Unum Group is Chattanooga's largest publicly traded company with a market value of nearly $8 billion and nearly 3,000 employees in Chattanooga.

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