Unum’s third quarter earnings reflect another strong quarter for the company, officials said. Solid risk results across the company’s core operating businesses, along with the results of its Closed Block continuing to track with expectations, resulted in operating earnings per share increasing approximately 6 percent over the third quarter of last year.
After-tax operating income for the quarter was $224.6 million, or 85 cents per share, compared to $224 million, or 80 cents a share, in the third quarter of last year. Net income, which includes certain non-operating items, was $205.7 million, or 78 cents a share, compared to $230.2 million, or 83 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2012.
Here are some highlights from the quarter:
Operating income for Unum US rose 1.6 percent to $219.8 million, led by favorable results in its group disability and group life businesses. While sales levels were relatively flat from last year, this business had good growth in several of its target markets. For example, sales of group long term disability increased 9 percent in the quarter.
Unum UK saw solid improvement as the pricing and repositioning actions within the group life business are beginning to have an impact on results. Operating income was $31.3 million (£20.1 million), up more than 13 percent from $27.5 million (£17.3 million) in the third quarter of 2012.
Colonial Life continued to perform well, with solid risk results and sound expense management driving another good quarter for this business. Operating income rose slightly to $69 million, and, while total sales were slightly below last year’s levels, there was growth in a number of markets.
Operating income for the Closed Block, which includes business lines the company no longer sells but still services, was consistent with both last year’s quarter and company expectations.
The company continues to benefit from a quality investment portfolio and strong capital position. During the quarter, it repurchased $75 million of stock, bringing total year-to-date in the buy-back program to $269 million.
On a separate note, the company also announced the addition of Theo Bunting, group president of Utility Operations for Entergy Corporation, to its board of directors. At Entergy, Mr. Bunting is responsible for the utility’s financial results, as well as regulatory support and regulated retail activities.
“We are very fortunate to have Theo join our board,” said William J. Ryan, chairman of the board of Unum Group. “He brings a wealth of financial and regulatory expertise to our board, and I am confident his contributions will be a tremendous asset to Unum.”