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CNA bags big Q2 earnings rise

On 29 July it was the turn of insurer CNA to post its results for the second quarter of 2004.

The Chicago-based company, which is majority owned by conglomerate the Loews Corporation, said earnings for Q2 2004 came to $289mn, or $1.07 per share, against $70mn, or 25 cents per share, for the same period in 2003.

In its SEC quarterly filing the company noted that net income for the quarter increased $219mn compared with the same period in 2003, the improvement being driven by “lower unfavourable net prior year development and decreased expenses”. It said the improvements were partially offset by decreased net realised investment gains. However, in an interesting side note it added that the company had made a $162mn pretax gain on the disposal of its equity holdings of Canary Wharf Group PLC (Canary Wharf), a London-based real estate investment.

Net earned premiums for the quarter were down $91mn on the same period in 2003, primarily because of reduced premium from CNA’s Life and Group businesses as well as decisions made in 2003 to focus on the core property and casualty business.

Steve Lilienthal, chairman and CEO of CNA commented: "We are very pleased with the continued strong performance of our core Property & Casualty Operations. Our focus on the business fundamentals - underwriting discipline and expense management - is clearly evident in our second quarter combined ratio which is in the 90s."

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