NU Online News Service, Nov. 5, 2003, 11:34 a.m. EST – AmerUs Group Company, Des Moines, Iowa, says improvement in credit conditions helped it improve third-quarter results.

The life insurer is reporting $41 million in net income for the latest quarter on $376 million in revenue, compared with $26 million in net income on $374 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2002.

Premium revenue fell to $64 million, from $81 million, but AmerUs recognized $9.8 million in gains on investments sold, written down or written off during the quarter. A year ago, a wave of bond defaults forced the company to realize $12 million in investment losses.

Net investment income fell to $244 million during the third quarter, from $257 million, because of the low interest rate environment and increased prepayments on mortgage-backed securities, AmerUs says.

The average portfolio yield for the quarter was 5.63%, down from an average of 6.48% for the third quarter of 2002.

Sales of fixed life insurance fell to $27 million, from $28 million, but sales of fixed annuities increased 5%, to $497 million.