Liberty Hikes Pollution Reserves $316Million

Liberty Mutual announced a pollution reserve boost of more than$300 million last week an action that did not disturb an improvingearnings picture for 2004.

While the reserve hike nearly doubled the level of theBoston-based insurer's pollution reserves, and while results werealso pummeled by $697 million in net pre-tax catastrophe losses,Liberty's net income still jumped 46.3 percent for the year to $1.2billion from $851 million in 2003.

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