Strong performance of variable annuities, retirement plans and related products in the United States and Japan helped results at Hartford Financial Services Inc. during the first quarter.

Hartford Financial, Hartford, is reporting $876 million in net income for the latest quarter on $6.8 billion in revenue, up from $728 million in net income on $6.5 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2006.

Profits increased 9% at the individual annuity operations, to $174 million, and 50% at the institutional solutions group, to $33 million.

But group benefits sales fell 12%, to $386 million, and group benefits profits fell 3%, to $66 million.

Hartford Financial “sold fewer large national accounts and maintained a disciplined approach to underwriting in a competitive marketplace,” the company says.

In other earnings news:

- Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga., is reporting $416 million in net income for the first quarter on $3.8 billion in revenue, up from $375 million in net income on $3.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2006.

Aflac has major operations in Japan as well as in the United States.

U.S. sales of accident insurance and cancer insurance strong, as were sales of cancer insurance in Japan, Aflac says.

The Japanese supplemental medical insurance market was weak, and a shift to new mortality tables slowed sales of life insurance policies in Japan, Aflac says.

- Reinsurance Group of America Inc., St. Louis, is reporting $76 million in net income for the first quarter on $1.4 billion in revenue, compared with $69 million in net income on $1.2 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2006.

Mortality experience was poor in South Korea, but a lower-than-expected number of large claims helped results in the United States, RGA says.

- American National Insurance Company, Galveston, Texas, is reporting $49 million in net income for the first quarter on $748 million in revenue, compared with $56 million in net income on $749 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2006.

Operating profits increased to $51 million, from $49 million.

Net results were affected by a decision to recognize $1.6 million in investment losses during the latest quarter and to recognize $7.6 million in investment gains for the comparable quarter in 2006.

- WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis, is reporting $783 million in net income for the first quarter on $15 billion in revenue, up from $732 million in net income on $14 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2006.

The managed care company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 35 million people, up from 34 million people a year earlier.

Enrollment in health account plans increased 57%, to 1.1 million, WellPoint says.

- Magellan Health Services Inc., Avon, Conn., a manager of mental health services and other services, is reporting $21 million in net income for the first quarter on $487 million in revenue, compared with $22 million in net income on $401 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2006.

- Express Scripts Inc., St. Louis, a manager of pharmacy benefits, is reporting $134 million in net income for the first quarter on $4.6 billion in revenue, up from $105 million in net income on $4.4 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2006.