NU Online News Service, Jan. 27, 2005, 5:50 p.m. EST

Reinsurance Group of America Inc., St. Louis, held its earnings steady despite a big drop in new North American reinsurance business.[@@]

The company is reporting $55 million in net income for the fourth quarter of 2004 on $1.1 billion in revenue, down slightly from $56 million in net income on $1.1 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2003.

Although the gross amount of North American life reinsurance in force increased to $1.1 trillion, from $976 billion, the gross amount of new life reinsurance written fell to $188 billion, from $434 billion.

Net results include $5.3 million in losses resulting from the effects of the South Asia tsunamis, RGA says.