NU Online News Service, July 22, 2004, 6:18 p.m. EDT

Favorable employee benefits claims experience and strong claim recovery results helped StanCorp Financial Group Inc., Portland, Ore., increase profits in the second quarter despite soft benefits sales.[@@]

StanCorp, the parent of Standard Insurance, is reporting $53 million in net income for the latest quarter on $526 million in revenue, up from $37 million in net income on $521 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2003.

Annualized benefits sales fell to $37 million, from $46 million, but StanCorp notes that fixed annuity sales were strong.