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Hartford Reports 1st Quarter Net Loss

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NU Online News Service, May 14, 2003, 11:23 a.m. EDT – Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, is reporting a $1.4 billion net loss for the first quarter on $4.3 billion in revenue, compared with $293 million in net income on $4.1 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2002.

Net results for the latest quarter include a $1.7 billion charge resulting from an increase in reserves for future asbestos-related property-casualty insurance claims. The results also include $34 million in losses on investments sold, written down or written off during the quarter.

Hartford’s life unit is reporting $126 million in net income for the quarter on $1.8 billion in revenue, down from $170 million in net income on $1.8 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2002.

Revenue from ordinary individual and group life insurance increased, but revenue from corporate-owned life insurance fell to $127 million, from $160 million.

At the individual annuity operation, total revenue increased to $385 million, up only $2 million from the first quarter of 2002, but a shift toward broker-dealer distribution increased commissions and wholesaling expenses to $230 million, from $189 million.

Annuity sales through broker-dealers jumped 46%, to $2.5 billion, while sales through banks fell 6%, to $980 million.

At the individual life operation, sales of variable life fell to $26 million, from $38 million, as sales of universal life rose to $11 million, from $3 million.