NU Online News Service, Jan. 17, 10:54 a.m. – The GE Financial Assurance unit of General Electric Company, Fairfield, Conn., will report about $236 million in earnings for the fourth quarter of 2002, down from $249 million for the fourth quarter of 2001, the company says.

Productivity at the unit, which sells life insurance, long-term care insurance and related products, was up, but investment spreads were down, GE says.

The GE insurance operations as a whole, which include the results for Employers Reinsurance Corp., a large property-casualty and life reinsurer, lost $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter, down from a $365 million net profit for the comparable quarter in 2001, because of a $1.5 billion loss at ERC, GE says.