NU Online News Service, March 8, 2004, 4:43 p.m. EST – Annuity and Life Re (Holdings) Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda, says it has a small chance of breaking even this year.[@@]

The troubled life reinsurer is reporting a $7.1 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2003 on $20.3 million in revenue, compared with a $99.9 million net loss on $113 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2002.

The company suffered a $101 million investment loss during the quarter, and it still faces serious challenges from pending shareholder litigation, annuity benefit guaranty exposure and lingering problems with reinsurance arrangements.

But an increase in interest rates could improve the company’s investment results, and a unit of Citigroup Inc., New York, has renewed a letter of credit that helps support Annuity and Life’s operations, according to Jay Burke, Annuity and Life’s chief executive.

Annuity and Life is starting to assess the possibility of trying to resume selling new products, Burke says in a statement accompanying the company’s 2003 earnings release.