American Financial Has Higher Profit

NU Online News Service, July 31, 4:18 p.m. EDT?American Financial Group Inc. posted $30.5 million for its second-quarter profit today, more than doubling the $12.1 million in income it recorded one year ago.

The Cincinnati-based property-casualty insurer attributed its quarterly improvement to higher premium rates. The company also said it achieved the strong second-quarter result despite a $28.5 million charge from an arbitration decision for its share of a 1995 property claim. The insurer also had a $6.7 million charge for its fixed annuity operations because of the adverse effect of lower interest rates, American Financial said.

“We continue to benefit from the hard market conditions and price firming in the commercial casualty markets,” said Carl Lindner, chief executive officer at American Financial. “We are pleased with the operating results of our ongoing insurance operations and expect these positive trends to continue,” Mr. Lindner added.

Mr. Lindner also noted that American Financial benefited from its 40 percent stake in Birmingham, Ala.-based Infinity Property and Casualty Corp. “The market has recognized Infinity’s value as evidenced by the increase in its stock price of about 65 percent since the initial public offering,” he said.

American Financial Group offers p-c and specialty lines, including workers’ compensation, professional liability, ocean and inland marine and multi-peril crop insurance, as well as automotive insurance.