NU Online News Service, Nov. 6, 2003, 1:22 p.m. EST – Ceres Group Inc., Cleveland, boosted its third-quarter results by cutting medical insurance operating costs.

The company, which sells medical insurance and products aimed at older consumers, is reporting $4.2 million in net income for the latest quarter on $130 million in revenue, down from $7.3 million in net income on $148 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2002.

Net income for the third quarter of 2002 included $3.1 million in income from a life insurance unit that Ceres later sold to another company. Income from continuing operations held steady at $4.2 million.

Senior products premium revenue increased to $43 million, from $42 million, because of an increase in Medicare supplement insurance sales.

Premium revenue from medical insurance fell 20%, to $73 million, but profits fell only slightly, to $2.3 million, from $2.6 million, because Ceres cut medical insurance benefits costs 20% and slashed other medical insurance operating costs by about one-third.