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The U.S. reinsurance industry reported an underwriting profit of $1.7 billion last year, making 2007 and 2006 the only times since 1980 that the industry has recorded a profit on operations, according to data released by the industry this week.

Scott Williamson, assistant vice president, financial analysis, for the Reinsurance Association of America, said the operating profits for the last two years “are partly a result of where we have been in the reinsurance cycle and the low catastrophe losses experienced in the last couple years, when compared to the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons.”

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