(AP photo/Jason DeCrow)

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:PFG) has expanded its individual and group disability insurance operations over the past year.

The company disclosed information about disability unit growth in the specialty benefits section of the supplement to its earnings release for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Principal is reporting $219 million in total, companywide net income for the fourth quarter on $2.3 billion in revenue, up from $148 million in net income on $2.1 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011.

The individual disability unit produced $12.4 million in annualized sales during the quarter and $61 million in premium and fee revenue, up from $12.1 million in annualized sales and $56 million in premium and fee revenue.

The individual disability lapse rate fell to 1 percent, from 1.4 percent, and the number of policies in force increased to 149,800, from 140,300. 

The incurred lapse rate increased from an unusually low level — 48.9 percent — to 60.8 percent.

The group disability unit turned in $12 million in sales and $75 million in premium and fee revenue, up from $8.9 million in sales and $69 million in premium and fee revenue.

The lapse rate at that unit fell to 2.5 percent, from 3.1 percent, and the number of employee lives covered increased to 1.3 million, from 1.2 million.

The group disability incurred loss ratio fell to 68.3 percent, from 70.9 percent.

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