Tuesday, April 30, 2002

What's the Buzz?

AFG earns profit in Calif. market

By Cliff Peale, cpeale@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A long losing streak for American Financial Group Inc. in the California workers' compensation market is over.

        The Cincinnati insurer said its Republic Indemnity Insurance Co. of America, which writes workers' comp policies, earned an underwriting profit in the first quarter.

        Company officials couldn't precisely identify the last time they earned a profit there, but fortunes have been dismal in that market since California went to an open-rating system in the mid-1990s.

        Since then, it has been increasing premiums and pruning unprofitable business.

        The turnaround helped AFG post first-quarter earnings of $41.8 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with earnings of $13.1 million, or 19 cents per share, a year ago.

        American Financial, the hub of the financial empire of Reds owner Carl Lindner, said the earnings of its core insurance operations were $52.9 million, more than double last year's totals.

        Have a tip about a Tristate company that should be included in our Buzz? Call 768-8147 or e-mail business@enquirer.com.


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