NU Online News Service, April 15, 2004, 5:33 p.m. EDT – Strong membership growth helped first-quarter profits at UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn.[@@]

The managed care company is reporting $554 million in net income for the quarter on $8.1 billion in revenue, up from $403 million in net income on $7 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2003.

The company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 20.2 million people, up from 18.7 million people a year earlier.

The company brought in an average of $489 in commercial premium revenue per insured commercial member, up 13% from the average for the first quarter of 2003.