Executives at Unum Group Corp. (NYSE:UNM) say the company is doing well in tough times.
Thomas Watjen, president of the disability insurance and voluntary benefits company, said the company has been squeezing growth out of the small and midsize employers with fewer than 2,000 lives that it sees as being part of its core market.
But, for 2013, “we still have a generally cautious view of the environment, with continued low employment growth and low interest rates.”
Wajen and other Unum executives spoke at a conference call the company held to discuss results for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Unum is reporting $244 million in net income for the quarter on $2.7 billion in revenue, compared with a $369 million net loss on $2.6 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, the company recorded $620 million in charges related to increases on reserve costs and adjustments in deferred acquisitions related to a move to suspend sales of long-term care insurance (LTCI).
After-tax operating income, which excludes the effects of the LTCI charge and several much smaller charges and gains, fell to $225 million, from $228 million.
Although the LTCI business is now a “closed block business,” LTCI premium income rose to $160 million, from $155 million, and persistency fell just slightly — to 95.8 percent, from 96 percent. The interest-adjusted LTCI loss ratio increased to 89.9 percent, from 86.4 percent.
U.S. group STD premium income increased to $514 million, from $511 million.